A Merry Christmas in the Capital of Casual

A Merry Christmas in the Capital of Casual

Friar with mother and daughter

Fr. Jim Bok with Jasmine(Smiley) and her daughter at the St. Anthony Kitchen in Negril, Jamaica.

Smiles at St. Anthony's Kitchen

On Friday, December 20, 2019, clients of St. Anthony’s Kitchen in Negril, Jamaica, enjoyed the annual Christmas party. Meals out the door (fried chicken, jerk pork and curried goat) were 350.

girl with Santa and Elf

Emma talks to Santa and his Elf

Santa Claus arrived (there was lots of white stuff on the ground—SAND) and brought Christmas gifts to over 100 children. The Negril Rotary Club prepared and distributed 120 food bags so families could have some meals over the holidays.

One of the blessings of the day is the variety of the folks who volunteer. Santa (Richard Ramey) comes from Columbus, Georgia, to join the fun and has been Santa for some years. His Elf, Sabine Bolenius-Brown, was born in Berlin, Germany, and has resided in Negril for 18 years. She is a Rotarian and very involved with children here. Doug and Linda come from Canada, Karla from Italy, Azul (a resort) sent 20 folks. The Kitchen is blessed with many friends from many places. God is good to us!

dog and people

Starboy (the dog) relaxes with clients of St. Anthony's Kitchen

St. Anthony’s Kitchen opened its doors in April of 2010, serving 52 folks a hot lunch, three days a week. Preparing to celebrate its 10th anniversary in April, the Kitchen has grown in more ways than one. Lunch is served 5 days a week to an average of 120 folks. Approximately 160 children are assisted through our Get Kids to School program; breakfast, lunch, taxi fare, busing, uniforms, school supplies and more. And three youths are in college thanks to Get Kids to School Plus.

Our mission is simple, to proclaim the Kingdom and try to build it by witnessing to Jesus’ love. Our patrons are a rough crowd; poor, struggling, broken, addicted! But they are different than they were ten years ago—less aggressive, more civil, more smiles. Speaking of smiles, Fr. Jim has made it a goal to get Jasmine to smile. He calls her Smiley all the time and she just cannot help but smile. Not so in her picture with him. Lots of kids are going to school every day and parents are investing in this effort. We are bringing a degree of dignity and hope to our brothers and sisters at St. Anthony’s Kitchen.

The Christmas Party is a kind of communal thanksgiving to God for his blessings on The Kitchen and its programs and its friends.  Thank you for your part in making all this happen!

long line of children

Children waiting their turn to visit Santa.

Posted in: Missions