Community heroes: honoring ordinary people doing extraordinary things

OUR FOUNDATION

Heroes who don't
wear capes

What defines a hero? Is it the childhood fantasy of a cape-wielding, web-casting adventurer who morphs into something that makes you say, “Wow!” as he saves the world?

That’s great storytelling, but in the real world, heroes are more often ordinary people doing extraordinary things – and that’s the definition we recently used to recognize and reward six Jamaican residents with our “NFE Community Hero” award.

Community Heroes

Driven by our commitment to make a meaningful impact in the communities where we operate, we engaged our neighbors in Old Harbour Bay, Clarendon, and Montego Bay to vote for people they consider to be their community heroes. The criteria was simple – people who selflessly give of themselves to make someone else’s life better.

One of the six Community Heroes we honored is Adrian Townsend, a 34-year old welder from Old Harbour Bay. He’s using his personal funds to build a facility to house the free welding training program he runs for youths in his community. “I’m passionate about helping young people gain a valuable skill,” he told us at the award presentation. “Even though I was not doing this to be recognized, it is very encouraging to know that my fellow community members value what I’m doing.”

Community Heroes

Also honored were the following community champions: 

  • Lloyd Hall, a pastor from Clarendon, who leads initiatives and raises funds to help vulnerable young people. “We are each other’s keepers,” he said, “so we need to do what we can to uplift each other.”
  • Hilda Johnson, a retired principal who founded the St. Wade’s Basic School more than 50 years ago, and has also been a foster mom, welcoming children in need into her home and her heart.
  • Florizel Thompson, a Mitchell Town farmer who promotes community development through supporting the local bee farming program and providing warm meals for the indigent in his community. 
  • Sandra Brown, a St. James shopkeeper who helps senior citizens and the less fortunate by lobbying for support from local businesses and food for the poor.
  • Mavis Dowdie, a retired St. James public service worker, who uses her passion for gardening to create peace and calm in the community’s recreational park. 

In our four years in these communities, we have seen the passion, the pride, and the commitment from people who devote their time, energy, and even personal funds to help uplift and serve their communities. They’re truly unsung heroes, and we were inspired by reading the testimonies from the community members who voted for them. We’re so proud to be investing in Jamaica for the long haul to help secure a sustainable socioeconomic future, and it’s an honor to recognize these recipients.  We look forward to continuing our support for these communities and their heroes!