One Jamaican Canadian is paying tribute to another by raising funds to build a school in her honour through his Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation.
"It's with the heaviest heart and the fondest memories of Denise Jones, I ask you to support our school build effort in 2021 in her name. $100,000 is our goal," writes Karl Hale, founder of Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation, on his Facebook page.
"She was a wonderful, caring, kind and a loving mother, wife, friend as well as founding member of HHJF and we dedicate our next school to Denise Jones," he continues.
"Her passion to provide access to education for children in the most vulnerable communities in Jamaica was contagious and inspiring. A pillar of strength and guidance for each and every one of us. Denise and her legacy will carry on with HHJF through all of our works."
Jones served on the Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation’s board for almost 15 years. Hale said they will accept tax-deductible donations in her memory to build the Goodwill Early Childhood Learning Center in Portland in 2021.
Jones was born in Jamaica and immigrated to Canada, where she became a respected actress, producer, promoter, manager, activist and much more as she championed Black and Caribbean arts and culture while acting as a mentor and community builder. She operated Jones and Jones Productions with her husband Allan before passing away from brain cancer at her Brampton, Ont. home on Dec. 3 at age 64.
Hale was also born in Jamaica and represented the country as a tennis player from the late 1980s through the mid-2000s. He now consults tennis clubs, professionals, events, resorts and associations through Hale Tennis Consulting, is the president of the Caribbean Cup Tennis Series, and, since 2006, has been the Rogers Cup ATP/WTA Toronto Tournament director.
Hale founded the Daniel Nestor Celebrity Charity Event, which has raised more than $1 million for North York General Hospital and Tennis Canada’s “Go for Gold” program that supports junior competitive development programs across the country. He’s also involved in many philanthropic activities for the Jamaican community and founded the Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation.
The Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation has been involved with the development and construction of more than 20 Jamaican schools. Its motto is “Participate, Educate, Elevate” because it believes providing the opportunity for an education can eliminate the barriers to a child's success.
The Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation offers organizations and individuals a chance to take part in working holidays where team members come together to help build schools while also being given time to take part in tours, activities and relaxation. No construction experience is necessary to take part.
While this year’s voluntourism school build trip was cancelled due to COVID-19, the Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation and its partners were able to fulfill a commitment to St. Martin Infant and Primary in St. Mary by adding: an infant department with four classrooms; two additional classrooms; a resource room/library; a guidance counselling unit; a water harvesting system; and a fenced playground.
The Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation has six partners.
The Oracabessa Foundation was created in 1997 by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell to serve as a catalyst for sustainable development and make a positive impact in the town of Oracabessa.
The Stephen Tulloch Foundation was launched in 2009 to assist underprivileged youth with opportunities to be successful and provide them with the same opportunities as other children.
Kisko Products makes freeze pops and has also assisted Canadian schools and charities through fundraising. Company president Mark Josephs is a Jamaican Canadian and a Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation board member.
BREDS' mission is to foster community empowerment through programs designed to enhance the education, vocational training, recreation and livelihoods of Treasure Beach community members and to ensure the sustainability of the environment that nurtures the community.
Food For The Poor (FFP)-Jamaica is the largest charity organization in the country. Its goal is to improve the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of the men, women and children it serves through emergency relief aid and programs in the areas of housing, food, medical, water, sanitation, education, agriculture, outreach and micro-enterprise.
The Caribbean Chinese Association was founded in 1977 to keep its members in touch and connected, sustain their culture and heritage, and build a healthier community.
In addition to accepting cash donations and gifts, Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation also raises funds through an annual gala and walkathon.