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Hands on Professional Foundation fetes Cold Spring, Great Valley fathers

Observer West writer

Thursday, June 25, 2020

GREAT VALLEY, Hanover - Over 100 fathers from the rural farming communities of Cold Spring and Great Valley in Hanover, were feted by the Hands on Professional Foundation on Father's Day.

The event was held at Hamilton Park in Great Valley.

The day's activities started at 6:30 am with the home delivery of 43 packages to the shut-ins, and climaxed in the afternoon when some 50 fathers received meals and gift packages.

Following the treat, representatives of the foundation journeyed to the homes of fathers in the Cold Spring community, who were not able to attend the function in Great Valley, and made deliveries to them.

Executive director and founder of the six-month-old Hands on Professional Foundation, Sanchia Ellis, who is a trained social worker and a native of Great Valley, was elated with the outcome of the initiative.

“It was an amazing experience to treat the fathers of the community in which I grew up. I chose them because I have seen from a child growing up where they have helped in my development, and I thought that at some point in my time, I would want to give back to my community first, before I give back to anybody else,” stated Ellis.

“So, it is a humble feeling I am having right now, to be treating the fathers of Great Valley and Cold Spring.”

She argued that “forgotten fathers” in these communities are usually only seen as breadwinners.

“I found that fathers in the Cold Spring and Great Valley communities are not usually recognised. So, unlike Mother's Day, you would have people sending roses, sending them to Western Union for money and coming to visit their mothers. But fathers, they are usually seen as the breadwinners, but they don't get gifts, they don't get treated, and they don't feel appreciated. So, initially, I did a SWOT analysis in the community to find out how they would feel if I do something like this, and persons were excited to know that I would want to do something like this,” Ellis explained.

Seventy-year-old Nehemiah Terrier, who was among those who received packages, was lost for words when he spoke with the Jamaica Observer West.

“It is more than I can explain. It is a great occasion for us as fathers to meet and exchange words together. I would like for somebody to do something like this every Father's Day, if possible,” said Terrier.

Terrier, who is the father of seven children, also had a word of encouragement to all fathers.

“Being a father is a great achievement. To be a father, you are supposed to grow your children in the right way…so being a father is great, especially when you take care of them [children] and grow them the right way,” he argued.

Sunday's activity is the first solo initiative for the St James-based non-profit organisation, which has since its inception been working closely with other groups and foundations.

Sunday's treat was sponsored by Honey Bun, Seprod, Chas E Ramson Ltd, Save a Lot Minimart, Councillor for the Hopewell division, Devon Brown, and Member of Parliament for Hanover Eastern Dave Brown.