At the 2017 staging of the Food for the Poor 5K Run/Walk, the newly registered Running Events Foundation opted to contribute a house to a Jamaican in need.

On January 18, 2018, that commitment was realised in the community of Parade Gardens as Jazelle Francis, a mother of two and resident of Rum Lane, received the keys to her new home after her original home was lost in a fire.

“Mi just pregnant when the house burn down,” Francis is quoted as saying in a release. “One year and six months ago now. Imagine, pregnant and having nowhere to live.”

Francis received a 320-square-foot, two-bedroom home with a bathroom, a kitchen, a water tank, a septic tank, and solar lighting valued at US$3,600. The release said the house represents one of the 170 houses Food for the Poor (FFP) has facilitated through the last three stagings of the charity 5K Run/Walk.

According to Alfred “Frano” Francis, director of Running Events Foundation, the donation was simply meant to be.

“A donation from Francis to Francis cannot be anything short of divine intervention,” said Frano. “We are happy we could make a contribution to making someone happy. She [Jazelle Francis] is happy, elated and her smile is all the thanks we need.

“Many of us take for granted the significance of having shelter, whether owned or rented. And today Jazelle reminded us why organisations such as Food for the Poor are a blessing to our nation. And we hope to now donate a home annually in partnership with them.”

Meanwhile, Francis highlighted that the home signalled the return of her family’s dignity and safety as they would no longer be subjected to using the tenement facilities in her community.

“Mi have mi inside bathroom, everything to my comfort. My children can stay inside, they have space to play inside. Mi feel good. True unnu nuh know,” Francis shared.

The release said the donation was meaningful for the Running Events Foundation as Running Events Jamaica Ltd operates from the corner of Rum Lane and Tower Street and some of the team members reside in the Parade Gardens Community.

On May 12, 2018, FFP will seek to raise funding for 100 homes through the fourth staging of their annual 5K Run/Walk.

Published in the Jamaica Observer