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Dec 18, 2014

Organizations Go All Out for the Elderly

And while the Salvation Army was doing its thing, other organizations are showing and sharing the love this Christmas. At the Sister Cecilia Home in Belize City, All Saints Church dropped in, as they do every month, to spend some time with the elderly. It’s something they’ve been doing for a while now, and involves music, prayers and companionship. Mike Rudon was there this morning and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

This morning residents of the Sister Cecilia Home were blessed with the presence of friends from the All Saints Church, as they are every single month. But since Christmas is a week away, this visit included a little extra.

 

Ilona Smiling

Rev. Ilona Smiling, All Saints Church

“Every fourth Thursday in the month All Saints Church with its wardens and lay minister come here at the Sister Cecilia Home to have a Holy Communion Service with the residents, and so being the Christmas season we have a special service with them today, and we also brought Santa along with us, and Santa is giving a gift to each resident. It’s a pleasure for us to come here, because they enjoy having the chance to sing hymns and praise the Lord, and we are happy to be with them.”

 

It’s obvious that the residents enjoy the visit and it does them a world of good, just as it does for those who are dispensing the goodwill and cheer in God’s name.

 

Rev. Ilona Smiling

“They look forward to it and if we don’t come they wonder what’s happening, so we are very sure that they enjoy it, and we give each of them special attention.”

 

William Flores

William Flores, Resident, Sister Cecilia Home

“I enjoy it, and I welcome you all. I enjoy it very much.”

 

Rev. Ilona Smiling

“I believe that we can get a lot more help if people only know how to go about it, and there are so many businesses and residents who just want to help, and we are thankful for them to their help and we send a message to them to continue to help, especially at this time to bring cheer and joy and hope to people. You know they look forward to something, and I hope that there will be other homes where people can share the joy of Christmas.”

 

From there we dropped in on another organization which is committed to the well-being of the elderly. Every week Helpage provides food to forty-five shut-ins in Belize City, and today’s meal was extra-special because it is the last before Christmas.

 

Elaine Clarke

Elaine Clarke, Chairperson, Belize City Branch, Helpage

“HelpAge is an organization that really helps the elderly. We care for them, we lobby for them…we try to give them their needs as much as we can. So if anybody out there would like to donate or to give financial-wise to HelpAge, we’ll be grateful to accept whatever they can give to us. It’s not only the shut-ins that we care for. We also care for the elderly out there. They come and they need a wheelchair or a crutch, we help them.”

 

Like with every other charitable organization in Belize, resources are scare and the demand is overwhelming. There are many people in need of this service, and HelpAge would love to be able to assist all of them, but it’s just not possible without much additional financing.

 

Elaine Clarke

“It’s a big challenge, because we have to find food for them every Thursday and we give them healthy meals on a Thursday. The bus would come and deliver to forty-five shut-ins. We need financing. We need donations. Right now we are getting donations but it is not enough because each time you see where needs are and you can’t get it, you can’t give it to the people. So financing is our great challenge.”

 

Melva Williams was one of forty-five who received food today. She lives in an area known as the Jungle just off Pickstock Street. The condition of the area is heartbreaking, and so was her admission that if HelpAge had not brought her this meal, she wouldn’t have had anything to eat.

 

Melva Williams

Melva Williams, Shut-In

“Thankful, because to be truthful I don’t have any right now. This is the only food I have right now.  I can’t work. With my age and sickness they noh wah tek me to work. I wish I could do a job right now. I wouldn’t be sitting down here, I would be working. I only could hope to God and pray to God.”

 

We left HelpAge on other missions of mercy and goodness, bringing hope to the lives of those who need it. And just because it is that time of year…

 

William Flores

“On behalf of Sister Cecilia Convalescent Home and the staff, Mrs. Allen, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

 

Mike Rudon for News Five.

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