Phenomenal response to radio host’s appeal
A radio show personality, who hosted a gift drive to help needy families over the holiday season, admitted receiving a “simply phenomenal” response from the public.
Kristy Burgess, aka Miss Thang of HOTT 107.5, said this year's project initially set out to help 92 children.
But with support from the listening public, they were able to help 135 young people, including 11 children from the Sunshine League.
Ms Burgess said: “The response from the public was simply phenomenal. Once I completed my Wish List and I realised we would be helping over 92 children, a part of me became worried due to the economic climate.
“But once I saw the outpouring of generosity from all parts of the community, I knew, once again, this year would be a success.”
The 'Wish List' scheme was started by Ms Burgess four years ago after she noticed there were some families forced to go without during the holidays.
She started by giving away turkeys and Christmas trees, but this year the project expanded to include gifts, food vouchers, monetary donations and clothing as well.
She admitted there was both a positive and negative side, such as the occasional parent who is ungrateful for the donation. Still, the drive has taught her about the generosity of Bermudians.
“I have seen many people give of their time as volunteers, donate towards the Wish List and even give more than they have,” she said.
Ms Burgess admitted she found this year's drive “extremely awarding” because of help from sponsors, donors, volunteers and recipients.
“It warms my heart to know that I have taken the torch to make a difference, not just at Christmas but all year around, and once again I am truly grateful with a thankful heart.”
She said: “If anyone knows me, my heart is as big as the ocean shore and I am always putting others before myself.
“I cannot explain the overwhelming feeling that I had on Christmas Eve but I will say that 'I am not here by chance and I know that what I do is a direct gift from God and for that I am truly grateful'.”
Ms Burgess thanked Jane and Dennis Correia “who come onboard every single year without fail”.
She also praised this year's sponsors including: CellularOne, Bliss Hair & Nails, The Registry General, Trott & Duncan, Bermuda Institute, TN Tatem Middle School, Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess, Riddell's Bay Golf Course and Red Laser & Keen Ltd.
Ms Burgess has just been awarded the Queen's Certificate and Badge of Honour for the New Year for her community service projects on the Island (see separate story on page one).