News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Dec. 11, 2012: The Rockaways, located in the borough of Queens, New York City, is home to a large number of Caribbean Americans who were affected by Hurricane Sandy this October.
But despite the devastation and despair, a Jamaican immigrant is hoping to bring Christmas to many of this area. Michael Duncan, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, has taken it upon himself to find ways to ease the plight of the battered and bruised residents.
With the aid and assistance of community groups, churches, area companies, media houses, artists, local restaurants and a bunch of good Samaritans, Duncan has created an event called Christmas In The Rockaways, that is designed to bring waves of holiday cheer to the needy in the area. It will take place on Saturday December 22 at the Far Rockaway High School from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Hurricane victims have been asked to make up Christmas wish lists and each list will be fulfilled, as far as possible, from donations of clothing, food items, care packages, toys and other Christmas gifts.
Support for the project is coming from many other quarters. Pat Malcolm, president of a Brooklyn support organization called Women Supporting Women Ministries Inc. is throwing her full weight behind Christmas In The Rockaways.
“Christmas is the time of year when people get lonely, sad, depressed and suicidal so it is very important that those who are able come forward in a big way to help,” Malcolm declared.
To add an entertainment component to the day, a number of performing artists have volunteered their services. A New York radio program, Irie Jam Radio, will broadcast live from the event and digital media company, DC Digital TV, will stream the day’s activities globally to smart phones and other digital platforms.
Duncan, who is also founder and coach of the Rosedale Soccer Club in Queens, has also enlisted the support of the Consulate General of Jamaica in New York for his mission of goodwill. Consul General, Herman LaMont, has wholeheartedly embraced the project. As chairman of the Caricom Consuls General Committee, LaMont had already been making substantial headway in providing hot meals and essential supplies to the area.
For his part, Duncan says he has been humbled by the outpouring of generosity from donors as much as he has been moved by the ‘back-to-basics’ nature of wish list requests that have been coming in from Hurricane Sandy victims.
“With an open-ended wish list you’d expect to see people wanting things like 40 inch flat screen TVs. Not so. The requests have been mainly for necessities with one older lady only wanting the means to secure her cancer medication by Christmas Day,” Duncan said.
There still is time for companies and individuals to participate in Christmas In The Rockaways and those wishing to do so may visit www.eachonesupportoneconcept.com. Christmas In The Rockaways is an expression of altruistic, heart-warming thoughtfulness.
It probably won’t bring peace on earth but it will surely bring a lot of goodwill towards the men, women and children in the Rockaways whose lives have been shattered by the not soon-to-be-forgotten Hurricane Sandy.