‘Angels’ Bring Christmas Spirit To Hope Gardens

The atmosphere at Hope Gardens in Kingston was joyous yesterday as a funfilled day came to an end with the harmonious singing of “Jingle Bells” while members of Angels of Love Jamaica (AOLJ) embraced the Christmas spirit in its true form.

“One of our many Christmas treats that we have planned for this December took place today at the Hope Gardens/Hope Zoo where we entertained all the little angels who have left their homes and not only interacted with the other children we care for but with their parents, family and members of AOLJ,” Philip Liu, founder of the organisation, toldĀ The Sunday Gleaner.

“Some were very elated as this was their first visit to the Hope Gardens as most of them spend their time between home and the hospital,” he added.

AOLJ is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to providing life-saving treatment, health, education and support services to children with physical, mental or emotional troubles.

Most of the children suffer from cancer and other illnesses. The organisation assists them financially in various ways, such as facilitating tests, scans and prescription drugs.

“Today was really fun. I could see that our little angels were fascinated by the animals that are here such as the monkeys and crocodiles. Some were really scared at times but overall it was a great experience and I think that we made a difference in their lives today by sharing the Christmas spirit and joy with them,” said Royanne De Silva, chairperson for the University of the West Indies (UWI) chapter of AOLJ.

“I’m glad to see these children happy. This little girl for example, the last time I saw her, she was in the hospital and here she is now, it is nice to see them playing and enjoying themselves.”

Sophia Lewis, the mother of five-year-old Jafari Forte, who is one of the children currently receiving aid from AOLJ, also shared her views on a ‘wonderful day’ spent with the organisation.

“I feel very happy to see Jafari enjoying himself, like with the animals for example. These are the things that he likes. He was especially excited to see the reindeer, snakes and crocodiles. I am very appreciative, as AOLJ is a very good organisation who made this day possible and has also done a lot to help us with Jafari,” Lewis said.