HELPING HAND: Members of staff and students at the Kingston-based school.
With corporate donations not exactly in abundant supply in recent times, institutions like the STEP Centre have to earn their money (to finance their budget and keep the doors open) where they can. This year, the special-needs school is stepping up its annual Christmas card initiative, an ongoing endeavour considered its chief fund-raising effort.
The cards, produced by the staff, features vivid and eye-popping designs crafted by the children themselves and a handful of such selfless local artists as Lennox Coke and Frank Marzouca, who didn't hesitate to contribute samples of their artwork for the worthy cause. "They've been very generous throughout the years," says headmistress Hilary Sherlock.
"We are really grateful that they've allowed us to use their designs." As for sales, Sherlock says the cards can be purchased at corporate area outlets like Barbican's Loshusan Supercentre, via their website thestepcentre.com, and on cards.care.
"We hope to sell off all that we have this year. It's usually mainly corporate sales and individuals who support us," she says. "We have to fund-raise over 50 percent of our budget, so we're always doing something."