GREAT START: Bryan accepts a cheque of $200,000 from Lasco MoneyGram's Matthew Blake (both centre). Sharing in the moment are JCDC Executive Director Delroy Gordon and Cindy Breakspeare, who chairs the festival queen committee.
Reigning Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Anjell Bryan doesn't take her title lightly. Making a mark and transforming lives, particularly those of the very young, is what the 26-year-old activist is about. Hence the genesis of Guardian Anjell Play and Learn, her newly launched national shoe-box project, through which she is collecting donations of gift packages from everyone from state agencies and civic associations to service clubs, individual donors and volunteers to bring some holiday cheer to children in state care. Big sister reporting for duty.
The JCDC, in partnership with Guardian Life Limited, hosted the small, intimate launch in New Kingston on Tuesday morning, drawing appearances from corporate-world representatives, members of the JCDC family, and former queens. The project, scheduled to run in two phases (November-December and next Child's Month), is being sponsored by Guardian Group Jamaica and Lasco Financial Services. "The vision came from experiencing the gratitude, joy and sincere appreciation from the children whose lives have been positively impacted by actions of kindness," Bryan says. "It is without question that they feel loved, special and cared for upon presentation of gifts to them."
IT'S IN THE BOX: 2014 Gospel Song winner Kenisha Smith was among the first donors to contribute to the worthy cause, making her presentation to Bryan at the launch.