With approximately 1,500 people turning up at her annual back-to-school treat, dancehall queen Spice and her team from the Grace Hamilton Foundation were overwhelmed as they handed out school supplies to needy children at the Maverley Gospel Hall yesterday.
She had initially hoped to cater to 500 children, and so it was obvious from the get-go, some children would leave the venue empty-handed.
The latter saddened the deejay and she was moved to tears as she told THE STAR that disappointing the future of Jamaica was never her intention.
“I am happy and sad at the same time. I’m happy to know that I’m able to give back but I feel sad to know that I wasn’t able to give back to everyone today. To be honest, I never expected this. It’s over 1,000 people turn up and children will leave here disappointed and that is really heartbreaking for me,” she said. “This is something my team and I have been planning. I was really looking forward to it. My intention was to make sure that every child could come and get something. I’m just sad we weren’t able to cater to everyone.”
But the entertainer said even though the support was overwhelming and the crowd was more than she could handle, she would have it no other way.
She said that having seen the crowd, persons have suggested that next year she selects persons to assist via email. But, not taking a ‘hands-on’, personal approach is not her way.
“I want to try to do it like this for as long as I can. I am a street girl and aside from giving back, this is a way for me to interact with the people who built me, so I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am going to have to expand it tremendously for next year because every child must be in school,” she said. “The turnout means that next year we have to plan it bigger and better. This shows that there are so many people in need and we as an industry need to step up and do more. There are so many other successful people in the business, if they could come on board and join forces, we could do so much more. Elephant Man and Richie Stephens were here and I have to say thanks to them for their contribution but I know so many more successful people and I would really appreciate if they could come on board.”
Children were treated to items such as books, crayons, book bags, lunch bags, school shoes, and more.
Aside from school supplies, parents were also given cash to offset the cost of tuition and to help purchase books.
Sponsors including popular hairdresser Puddon Plus, social media influencer Quite Perry, Loud Fashion Clothing store and jewellery store, Maison De JCK also offered cash sponsorship to some parents.