The Blossom Gardens Child Care Facility (BGCCF) and the Montego Bay Animal Haven have received donations of $200,000 each from telecommunications giant, Digicel.
BGCCF is operated by the Child Development Agency (CDA) in Appleton Hall, Montego Bay, and has been in existence since 1975, to cater to children, ages 0-7 years, who are the responsibility of the State for various reasons, while the Montego Bay Animal Haven is a shelter for over 200 animals which started in a private home 11 years ago.
They were chosen, respectively, by Manika Mitchell, from Hopewell in Hanover, and Codie Kameka, a final year student at The University of the West Indies (UWI), who hails from the historical German settlement of Seaford Town in Westmoreland, the two weekly grand prize winners for the newly-revived Digicel ‘Shake to Win’ competition, which recently added the $200,000 grant to a charity of the winner’s choice to the popular competition.
“I previously worked at a supermarket, and the Blossom Gardens Children’s Home used to buy from us, so I formed a relationship with the person in charge. My heart always goes out to them, just the fact that those children are helpless and the Government has to take care of them,” Mitchell said after receiving her winning prize.
She also welcomed the $1-million prize money, as she plans to go to UWI in September to do her Bachelor’s in business administration.
“It came just in time, trust me. It came just right on time. I never knew where that money would come from to go to school, now thanks to Digicel I know how I will pay for my tuition,” she added.
Montego Bay Animal Haven was founded in 2009 to raise awareness of the plight of stray and abandoned animals and to try to tackle the problem in north-west Jamaica. Since January 2019 Angela’s Army of Angels has also started looking out for strays in Kingston.
Approximately 1,000 animals have been re-homed by the Montego Bay Animal Haven, and thanks to its rolling programme of clinics, run in conjunction with both local and overseas veterinary professionals, many more have been spayed or neutered.
An avid animal lover, Codie said that he is inspired by the operators of the animal home.
“I am inspired by the lady who started this institution, as there are not enough shelters in Jamaica that look out for stray animals. The shelter would normally get food for the animals from hotels, but since they’ve been closed due to COVID-19, the haven has been struggling,” he noted.
“We are always joyful when our customers are able to use their winnings to make a meaningful difference to their lives and others,” said Chief Marketing Officer for Digicel, Nasha-Monique Douglas.
“The charitable element of the promotion could not be more needed at this time, and we’re very pleased to see the passion of our winners coming through in this regard,” she added.
Digicel’s prepaid and postpaid customers can download the MyDigicel app and get a chance to win the weekly grand prize of $1 million. Now with a ‘Shake to Win & Donate’ twist, all grand prize winners will get an additional $200,000 that will go towards a registered charity of their choice.
To enter, prepaid customers must purchase any seven-day or longer plan in the MyDigicel app. They will also receive 25 per cent bonus data on these plans. Postpaid customers need only to keep their accounts active by paying their bills on time and in full in order to Shake to Win.
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