Jamaica Gleaner / The importance of giving back, especially during the festive season, has not been lost on the famed ‘Purples’ of North Street, who, on Thursday, after sitting their end-of-term exams, turned out in their numbers to help feed more than 2,000 poor Jamaicans across the island.

“At Kingston College (KC), it is service above self,” 18-year-old Ricardo Ricketts told The Gleaner during the Food For The Poor and Salvation Army’s annual Christmas treat at Emmett Park in Kingston.

The crop of lower sixth-formers who sprang into action as early as minutes after 10 a.m. readily served hot meals and beverages to the large, and, at times, demanding crowd.

As if mandated, the youngsters were meticulous in their actions, regularly consulting with each other and the organisers to ensure that no one was excluded.

“The KC culture is to nurture those that are around us and to develop worthwhile institutions so that we can have a better country,” said Ricketts, who also spoke of his intention to visit the Walkers’ Place of Safety on Christmas Day to assist with the children.

For youth parliamentarian Chad Rattray, 17, volunteerism has always been a passion.

“I’m always moved by giving back and seeing how it positively impacts people’s lives. So once I heard of the event, it was always a yes. I had to come along with my colleagues to give support,” shared Rattray.

While he hails from Stony Hill, 17-year-old Chadrick Chambers said that Kingston was also his community as it was where his school was located.

“One should always get involved in activities such as these. It contributes to personal development. At KC, we try to undertake as many service projects as possible. On Saturday, we’re going to feed the homeless in downtown in front of the courts. So initiatives such as these are bigger than self. It’s about bettering our people and the country,” he reasoned.

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