RETIREES have rallied strongly in support of a call to sign up as volunteers of the J Wray and Nephew Foundation (JWNF).
More than 60 were feted at a Pensioners' Luncheon hosted by the JWNF at Knutsford Court Hotel last week.
With eyes open wide, smiles from cheek to cheek and hugs fitting for a bear, pensioners celebrated their reunion akin that of high school students, and at least a third responded to the urgings of lending a helping hand.
“With respect to volunteerism to the J Wray and Nephew Foundation, it's a worthy cause and for those who can make the opportunity, who can give of their time and other resources, it's an excellent idea,” said Horace Lewis, a former FIFA referee who worked 20 years with the JWN Group.
Chairman of JWN and the JWNF, Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence, numbered among those who had earlier made the call for volunteers from the company's pension scheme. He updated the gathering on activities of the Foundation that was formed in 2012 with the mission of 'transforming lives and communities for a better Jamaica'.
Lawrence further pointed to their areas of focus, noting that last year marked its first full year of operations.
“We believe it was a credible start. We had an activity-filled year, directly impacting the lives of people within J Wray & Nephew's areas of operations,” he said.
“We chose to 'dance at home before dancing abroad' and concentrate our philanthropic efforts on the areas in and around Spanish Town Road, New Yarmouth and Appleton.”
The JWNF chairman shared that given the upswing in activities, there was an increase in the number of people exposed to self-building activities; an increase in the number of children receiving educational grants; it was a year of female empowerment; and it highlighted Jamaica's culture through music and film.
“We would like to continue this growth and to do so we need your help,” said Lawrence. “We need the support of volunteers who are truly passionate about making an impact and who have the experience from which to pull.”
Andrea McLean, who dedicated 46 years to the company, was elated with the function and foundation's activities.
“I am so glad that I got this invitation to meet again because we were a family when we were at J Wray and Nephew, and we always look forward to this luncheon,” said McLean. “We thank all who remembered us and invited us to this function. It was good, it was entertaining.
“I like what I hear people putting forward for this year; it's very good to help those who can't help themselves,” she added. “I like a community spirit, I'd like for everybody to be on board and as they say, 'we have to live and love one another', and I think that is wonderful.”