NEWS AMERICAS, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 19, 2013: A Jamaican-born journalist will turn her birthday this year into a time of giving as she expands on a social media auction to help needy students at the University of the West Indies pay for college.
Janet Silvera of the Jamaica Gleaner has become a “point of light” in her community of St. James, Montego Bay, donating her own clothing to raise money for university students who face being kicked out of school because they are unable to pay the annual fees.
This year Silvera is teaming up with the University of the West Indies, Mona, Western Jamaica Campus to present the ‘New For You’ Bazaar, on her birthday, tomorrow, Saturday, July 20th.
“Instead of receiving gifts from my friends for myself, several of them have donated clothing (men, women, children clothing), furniture, appliances, toys and even two classic wedding dresses, which will be sold at the Old Hospital Park in Gloucester, (across from the Wexford) in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” said Silvera. “All proceeds will go towards students unable to pay their university fees.”
Michele English, president and CEO of Columbus Business Solutions, will match the funds raised at the Bazaar to help the students.
The event will also include a dog show, courtesy of Marksman and crocodile wrestling, courtesy of Swamp Safari in Falmouth. The dog show is at 12:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Adam Stewart of Sandals Resorts International will provide some of the tables and tents for the event while the St. James Parish Council is providing the venue.
Silvera started auctioning off her clothes on Facebook two years ago in order to help the needy university students. The project was spurred by two medical students at Mona, one who has type II Diabetes and the other, a history maker, who will be the first doctor to come from her community in St. Ann.
The Facebook auction was a hit. Not only did Silvera’s friends donate cash to both students, but needles and medication for the one with diabetes as well.
The move was motivated, she said, after attending the university while earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Communications and seeing many students unable to sit exams because of outstanding fees.
“Education is the most important aspect of modern man’s life, without it you are literally at a disadvantage. The more people we can educate in this country, the more empowering it will be for our youths. I am concentrating my efforts on the youths, because they are our greatest assets,” added Silvera.