Flood-ravaged family gets $100,000 shopping spree
Excited children packed their trolleys through the aisles of MegaMart Waterloo yesterday, the joy evident on their faces.
Their mother, Marsha Smart, and grandmother, Petrona Anderson, were also barely able to contain their excitement. In November, a flood caused from rains brought by Tropical Storm Eta swept away almost all their belongings from their home in Bull Bay, St Andrew.
But just days before Christmas, Digicel Jamaica treated the family to a $100,000 shopping spree. Smart said she thought they were going to get clothes.
"When we saw the vehicle turn into MegaMart, it was a good surprise. And it was good for the children as well. We are grateful and we want to extend our thanks to THE STAR and the Digicel family." MegaMart also gave the family a $10,000 voucher. Smart said that her Christmas has been made.
God is good
"God is good. I'm picking up some chicken, fish, oil and some other little stuff that we need. I've never spent so much money in a supermarket, because we have to live within we means. When I go home, I will relax and pack out some cereal for the kids," she smiled.
Her 16-year-old son Tussan, and 12-year-old daughter Tussanne relished the moment as they dropped items in their trolley without asking mommy for permission.
"We can't forget the school supplies," Tussanne said with a handful of pens, note pads and markers. Smart, for once, didn't have to worry about the bill.
"I didn't have Christmas on my mind at all. We just live as we go through daily. Now, Christmas is looking good," she said. Anderson's other grandchildren, Brittania Bundy, 11, and Jalil Bundy, 16, also picked up items.
"I'm feeling good. I'm so glad. I'm going home to pack out and share with those who didn't get to come. We are so excited. It took us by surprise but we are grateful. It's so great that Digicel could do something and help us like this," said Anderson. She is hoping to get a refrigerator or washing machine in the near future.
"I'm praying that the Lord provides. And he will provide because the water did catch me at my chest and him save me. We serve a mighty God," she added.
Tussan and Jalil also went home with Samsung tablets with six months worth of data sponsored by Digicel Jamaica.
"This is my first tablet. I wasn't managing very well with the online schooling because I was using my mother's device, but it wasn't really working. I expect my online classes to be easier now and I will be able to keep up with my classes," said Jalil. Tussan, who lost his phone in the flood and didn't have a device to attend classes.
"And it's about to get more challenging because we have a lot to get done and we have exams next year," he said.
Elon Parkinson, public relations and communications manager of Digicel Jamaica, told THE STAR that while putting together plans for Christmas, the company wanted to make a huge impact.
"2020 has been an unprecedented year and for another curve ball to be thrown in towards the end of the year with that awful flooding that affected the family, we felt that we really needed to help," he said.