May 2022 Volume 18

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Donation 2021

George B. Bell
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Kingston College (KC) was founded on firm Christian beliefs. In fact, the institution’s founding father, Bishop Percival Gibson saw KC as more than just an equalizer of educational opportunity. The school was dedicated to the making of well-balanced Christian gentlemen locally and abroad. Graduates of KC would show their love for God not just by their worship but for their compassion for the under-privileged. Indeed, KC's most potent potion is its solid Christian foundation and seemingly endless Blessings.

The Blessings, at times, manifest itself in the most unpredictable, but welcome way. Imagine being engulfed in a Covid-19 plagued world, and then being presented with the opportunity to get a donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) comprising of masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers worth $US250,000.00 (Yes, the number is correct). This was how this “container load” of Blessings unfolded for the “College”.

In May 2021, amid the heights of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Clinton Daley, a board member of KCOBA USA Inc., was contacted by his friend and business partner, Mr. Hindren Qadhi (HQ), about the possibility of donating the above mentioned PPE to an entity in Jamaica.

HQ, who is the president of Q Solutions Company, a Toronto, Canada based supply chain firm had excess PPE. Being an adopted son of Jamaica and husband to a Jamaican wife, Mrs. Rosetta Qadhi (from Orange Hill, Westmoreland), he thought that it would be a great idea to donate the items to Jamaica. As a result of his relationship with Dr. Daley, and his appreciation of the KC story – of transforming young men (like Dr. Daley) from under-resourced inner-cities into productive and influential citizens of Jamaica and the world, HQ and Rosetta suggested making the donation to KC. Naturally, Dr. Daley agreed and instantly an idea was transformed into an opportunity to assist Kingston College!

In June 2021, KC’s principal, Mr. Dave Myrie, was apprised of the prospect of the school receiving the PPE donation. Needless to say, Principal Myrie was very enthusiastic about the donation as he felt having sufficient Covid-19 PPE was essential for the resumption of in-person learning for the 2021/2022 school year. Additionally, when he learned of the enormous quantity, Mr. Myrie immediately proposed to share the needed items with other schools and partners operating within the local community.

In July 2021, KCOBA USA Inc. Board led by President Dwayne Montaque officially adopted the project and approved the approximately $US7,000.00 required to ship the items from Canada to Jamaica. Unbeknownst to the Board, there would be significant challenges involved in executing the task. For one, the logistics and optics of transporting the goods, especially operating in a Covid-19 environment proved to be much more significant than we had imagined. The items were being stored in two containers (a 40ft container and 20ft container), and the original thought was to repack them all into the 40ft container. This would help us manage the huge shipping cost associated with transporting the items. Faced with a closed US/Canada border and limited manpower in Canada, this proved to be a major hurdle.

To further exacerbate the situation, HQ called in August to inform us that there was a buyer interested in acquiring the PPE, which was still sitting in his warehouse. Now, we had to act and act quickly. The Fortis spirit kicked in, and with some assistance from HQ and the local broker in Jamaica, the items were finally shipped in late August. In September 2021, Principal Myrie began petitioning the local authorities to secure a duty-free waiver for the PPE supplies. The effort paid off, and with further excellent work from Principal Myrie and the local broker, the shipment arrived at KC (see pictures) in November 2021 - in time for the start of in-person classes.

After taking inventory of the donation, Principal Myrie again welcomed the generous donation and reiterated the timeliness and relevance of the gift. As anticipated, the size of the donation allowed KC to assist a number of schools, which were very much in need of the Covid-19 supplies.

Now, April 2022, Principal Myrie reported that the students and staff were still benefitting from the Blessings from Canada.

The Team at KCOBA USA Inc. wishes to thank Mr. Hindren Qadhi (Q Solutions Company), Mrs. Rosetta Qadhi (owner of “Think and Grow Rich Caribbean”), Dr. Clinton Daley, Principal Dave Myrie, the local broker, and all stakeholders who played a role in making this donation a reality. We are tremendously grateful for the opportunity to continue to make meaningful impact at our beloved alma mater, Kingston College, and the local community. Yes, we are Bless!!

George B. Bell

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