Six-year-old Andre Lewis, who was featured on January 22 in THE CENTRAL STAR, pleading for assistance to get a pair of special glasses, is now looking forward to collecting them.
Mavernie Miller, a teacher at Free Town Primary – where Andre attends – told THE CENTRAL STAR that the teachers were touched by the story.
“By the time I finished reading the story, I started to cry and I said we have to do something to help this little boy. So I reached out to Mrs Jacqueline Hunter, a teacher, and the vice-principal here, as well as other persons from the school’s project committee,” Miller said.
They came together and developed two initiatives, a dollar coin and bottle drive. Students and teachers would donate dollar coins and persons would also donate money received from selling bottles back to bars and other establishments in Free Town.
Miller and Hunter expressed surprise at the zeal with which persons contributed.
“There were some who were sceptical saying what can one dollar do … but we went ahead,” said Miller.
Hunter said that she was determined to make a difference and to see if Andre could get the glasses he so badly needed.
It was this concern that saw her reaching out to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, informing officials of the student’s plight, as his mother, Nadine Sutherland, is on PATH.
An excited Hunter said Sutherland has already collected a letter of commitment from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to offset the full cost of the glasses.
All being well, she said, Andre should be receiving his glasses on Friday.
The drive which yielded more than $30,000 will now be deposited into a special account with the money being earmarked for any other emergency.
THE CENTRAL STAR caught up with Andre’s aunt, Christine Allison, who said she was excited that her nephew was finally getting the assistance he so badly needs.
“I want to thank those who reached out to offer and help,” she said, adding that they still have the usual expenses of keeping up with the doctor visits and renewing his medication.