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Dec 21, 2011

300 kids get gifts at George Street Party

Christmas is the annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ that is celebrated on December twenty-fifth. The activities during the celebration range from religious to secular. One particular Belize City neighborhood’s reputation has been tarnished for lacking in brotherly love. But two sons of the area surrounding George Street have organized a party with gifts for over three hundred children. News Five’s Isani Cayetano Reports from the heart of George Street.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The name George Street, over the past decade, has become synonymous with crime and violence.  Residents of this community, since the rise to prominence of perhaps Belize’s most feared gang, have had to live with the stigma attached to this area of Mesopotamia.  Kevin Kemp has been active in attempting to erase the shame his former neighborhood has had to bear.  Today he has organized a party for a little over three hundred kids.

Kevin Kemp

Kevin Kemp, Party Organizer

“This basically is a community based event.  Myself, my cousin Stone Jam, we came together to pay a little attention to this community, you know, this area the Mesopotamia area, the George Street area has a negative connotation when you hear but there are some good people in this area.  I grew up in this area, born on George Street right down here behind me so I want do a little bit for this community, to help out this community.  The kids in here, there are some good kids here [and] as you can see them behind us they are appreciative; they’re all happy.”

Elden ‘Stone Jam’ Hyde

Partnering with Kemp is veteran disc jockey Elden Hyde.  Stone Jam, as he is popularly known, is also a product of this environment.

Elden ‘Stone Jam’ Hyde, Party Organizer

“It’s very, very important to give back to the kids in this community especially because as my cousin said George Street has a stigma and there are good people.  There’s a lot of unfortunate kids and families that need help and I live on George Street for forty-odd years and so with him we’ve created this initiative to give back to the community.  I gave him the idea because he was doing it in California to let us join forces together and let us do a toy drive for the Mesop area.”

While the children are busy romping and dancing to the music of Lova Boy, a small group of adults, mostly parents, is gathered in a dimly lit room nearby sorting through hundreds of gifts that have been donated by members of the business community.  Also present was a team of officers from the fire department.

Kevin Kemp

“The Fire Department is here, they are here to help us out as far as bringing attention to the department here and also to highlight some safety issues.  It’s Christmas time [so they’ll be] talking to people about cooking and safety issues with that.  They came out last year and they helped organize with the kids and like that.  I’m a fireman in Los Angeles and we do a fundraiser for kids over there also so I thought we do a toys for the needy in California so why not do that for Belize since my special interest being a Belizean American is to bring that here to this community especially.”

The second annual George Street Christmas Party was made possible with assistance from Smart and the Belize National Fire Service. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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2 Responses for “300 kids get gifts at George Street Party”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    WHERE WAS THE CHURCH???? THEY COULD HAVE BEEN VERY EFFECTIVE HERE!!!!

  2. OriginalWoman says:

    Nice story, great job Mr. kemp & Mr. Hyde, kudos to you both!!!

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