Corporate Social Responsibility
Connected to Community
A key component of Massy Distribution’s company culture is giving back to the communities they serve. This programme, launched almost two decades ago, continues to grow in importance, impact and value. Mrs. Adriana Neita, Assistant Vice President – New Business, Export and Manufacturing, remembers being a part of the founding team that spearheaded the project 19 years ago.
She recalls how excited they were to both give the gift of education to young people in need and also to support the educational goals of team members’ children. “The decision was made at the time to reward children from two schools in the surrounding community and children of our team members. We were deliberate in requesting that the beneficiaries be both academically promising and service oriented because the right attitude paired with a timely opportunity can change lives.”
Mrs. Neita recounts meeting people over the years in different settings who identified themselves as past recipients, among them a neurosurgeon now based in the United States. “I’m always proud when I meet young men and women who come up to me and share how the scholarship contributed to their success. At Massy we always work in teams and this by far, is one of my most memorable and treasured team projects.”
A Legacy of Impact
This year, 16 students – five from each school and six children of Massy Distribution team members – received a total of $320,000 in bursaries. The usual awards ceremony was not possible due to the current public health restrictions, however this year’s scholars were treated to the ‘legendary’ Massy baskets filled with high quality treats along with their bursary cheques.
Staff children were celebrated with a ‘guard of honour’ formed in the office by team members at the company’s headquarters. This was a welcomed moment of happiness for all during a year that has presented its fair share of challenges.
Very few community investments have the potential to make as big a difference in the well-being of individuals and society as supporting the education of the young people. Mrs. Vinette Simms, principal of Balmagie Primary since 2010 has hailed Massy Distribution as a good corporate citizen.
“Our school has benefitted from Massy’s commitment to our community and investment in our students’ success. These bursaries are a source of motivation to all students, especially those who need the support. I thank them for their partnership over these years and look forward to many more, especially in our effort to recover from the impact of COVID19.”
A Call to Invest In Education
The numbers are stark. The Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) published its most recent paper this month, Time Out: The Impact of COVID on Education. It confirmed that since the closure of schools in March 2020, more than 600,000 students have been impacted, and 20% of that number have not been reached by any modality for over 18 months.
“The goal of providing students with a good education, regardless of their economic background, took on an even greater meaning for this year’s Massy Bursary handover. Access to education has never been more important for Jamaican children. The investments made in students today will directly impact the world they help to shape and inherit in the future”, commented Neita.
The bursaries follow Massy Distribution’s sanitization support of both the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Track Meets and the Issa Boys and Girls Champs earlier this year. The contribution of products that have become the cornerstone of protection against COVID-19, was in a bid to help make sports safe for High School athletes.
May is Child's Month
Across the country, are 50 Residential Child Protection facilities; both private and government run.
The CDA has oversight for all of them.
There are 1003 wards of the state in these homes, all in need of care. That number grows daily.
COVID has dealt them a hard blow. School closures have increased the occasions of both physical and sexual abuse. Out of necessity, the numbers of wards keeps climbing. The children miss their friends and any semblance of normalcy they once knew.
On Friday May 21, together with our sister companies Massy Gas Products and Massy Insurance, we provided Act II popcorn and Dole drinks to EVERY SINGLE CHILD in State Care and their caregivers.
They watched movies, played games and took a moment to just have fun.
A few team members spent the day at City of Refuge in Gordon Town. We were joined by the Prime Minister’s wife and the Minister of State for Education (under which State Care facilities fall).
The children island-wide were so thankful for the treat. They felt remembered, special, happy.
Massy Distribution Donates Personal Care and Nutrition Products to Help the Homeless in St. James
The homeless and mentally ill are a part of the most vulnerable groups exposed to the COVID-19 virus on a daily basis. Massy Distribution, using business as a force for good, stepped up to meet the nutrition and personal care needs of more than 150 homeless people in St. James.
The donations were made to The Committee for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill (CUMI) and Open Heart Charitable Mission and included some of Massy Distribution’s major brands; Brut shower gel and body sprays, Ban roll-on, Quaker Oats and Bumble Bee Tuna. In commenting on the donation, Senior Brand Manager at Massy, Tina McLymont said, “We value the work of non-governmental organizations like CUMI and Open Heart who have been doing heroic work to consistently provide shelter and care for the most vulnerable, long before COVID19. There is an even greater need at this time and it is our pleasure to support their work through this donation to help stem the impact of the pandemic on this most fragile and already-burdened community.”
Massy Brand Manager, Felicia Stephens, was also present at the donation and expressed her company’s commitment to doing good in the community. “It is our hope that having these items will make the work a little lighter for the amazing teams at CUMI and Open Heart. They have contributed a combined four decades-long record of service to the homeless and mentally ill in the parish of St. James and we are only too happy to lend our helping hand.
The Open Heart Mission is a non-profit located at 2A Lawrence Lane in Montego Bay, St. James that has been in existence since 2009. It is dedicated to caring for people battling addictions and mental illness among other things. Through the help of trained support staff, they have helped hundreds to heal and successfully re-enter society and reunite with their families.
Sandra Henry, Operations Manager for the Mission, in expressing thanks for the donation said, ‘We are extremely grateful to Massy Distribution for this generous donation of food items and toiletries, which will tremendously assist with our feeding program and meeting the hygienic needs of more than 80 regular clients. We are especially grateful, considering the challenges being faced by so many organisations during this covid 19 pandemic. This speaks volume to the humanitarian side of the Massey Group. Thank you for valuing the lives of our clients and helping to maintain their dignity with this donation.”
CUMI is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), registered Non-profit and Charitable Foundation based in Montego Bay Jamaica. They have been operational since 1990 and are the product of a group of concerned citizens to include current Director Joy Crooks. They serve as a day rehabilitation centre for individuals. They also serve the mentally ill community with a special focus on the homeless, providing healthcare, food, clothing and reintegration counselling through their Rehabilitation Day Centre and Night Shelter.
“CUMI really appreciates this timely donation which will go a far way in supporting the care bags being prepared for our clients and stocking our kitchen programme which provides two hot meals per day. COVID19 has posed significant challenges for our work and we are very grateful when good private partners like Massy remember us. As an NGO and non-profit, we depend on these shows of support and our clients, staff and directors are very grateful” said CUMI Director Joy Crooks.
Massy encourages fellow corporate citizens to continue to seek out ways to support both our frontline workers and the most vulnerable through outreach that boosts sanitation, comfort and protection of these groups who are either directly exposed to daily risks or painfully vulnerable and marginalized people. This is one of several initiatives undertaken by the company which saw it offering its products free of cost in the best interest of the nation. Last month, Massy Distribution, along with sister companies Massy Gas Products and Massy United Insurance also handed over $4 million worth of PPE equipment to the Ministry of Health. The items served to bolster the protection of front line workers in hospitals and those administering the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine. The company was also sponsor of both the JAAA Meets and GraceKennedy / Issa Boys and Girls Championships, providing products to aid with the safe execution of both events.