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Lesson in kindness as charity hands out vouchers for school supplies

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Tony Thompson, the chief executive of the Gibbons Company gives a $800 gift voucher for the store to Jerreka Jacobs, centre, a single mother as Gina Spence looks on (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)
Danica Bascome gets a voucher to help to pay for school supplies for her 8-year-old daughter (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)
Karen Pearman, left, and Monica Jones, volunteers for the Gina Spence Productions’ Back to School drive (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)
Mykiee Jones (left) and Gina Spence of Gina Spence Productions (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)

A mother widowed three years ago said a back to school giveaway today was a “Godsend”.

The mom, who asked not to be named, said the vouchers she was given for school supplies as part of Gina Spence Production’s annual event would help her to buy school clothes for her 6-year-old son.

She added: “This is a great opportunity for a single mother like me.

“It is the first year I have come to this event. I will be able to buy my son’s school uniform, which can be very expensive.”

The woman said: “I lost my husband three years ago and it has been very hard.

“This is God opening doors and keeping his promise to father the fatherless. I am so grateful.”

Danika Bascome, also a single mother, said the vouchers would help her to pay for school clothes.

She said: “It makes all the difference – there are many other expenses I have to pay out.

“Gina Spence Productions is doing great work in the community and this benefits parents from all backgrounds.”

Jerreka Jacobs, a mother of five, was chosen by the charity to receive a special donation from the Gibbons Company – an $800 voucher, handed over by the firm’s chief executive Tony Thompson.

Mykiee Jones, the charity’s administrator and daughter of Gina Spence, the founder, said Ms Jacobs was chosen for after she wrote in about the struggles she faced.

Ms Jones said: “Jerreka wrote to us in June and when we hear stories that early it demonstrates the severity of the need – she is thinking ahead to prepare her family for school.

“This is the climate we are in now.”

They were speaking as more than 600 families got a helping hand at the giveaway, held at CedarBridge Academy and sponsored by the Gibbons Company.

More donations are expected from the public, which will help even more families.

Parents were able to collect vouchers for Gibbons Company this year.

The drive, held from noon to 2pm, usually provides slightly used school clothes and school bags to families, but that was not possible because of Covid-19 regulations.

Families in need said this year had been particularly difficult for them because of the financial impact of the coronavirus.

Monica Jones, a volunteer at the event, said she wanted to help out because of the increased demand.

Ms Jones said: “It has been a very difficult year and school supplies are very expensive.

“This will help to see people through.”

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Published August 28, 2021 at 5:28 pm (Updated August 29, 2021 at 7:27 pm)

Lesson in kindness as charity hands out vouchers for school supplies

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