LEADING BY EXAMPLE
AS WE celebrate International Men’s Day today, it is only fitting that we look among us and celebrate those men who continue to uphold the theme of this year’s observance, ‘Lead By Example’. Lucky for us at The Gleaner, we didn’t have to look too far, as one of our own has been raising the bar to newer heights for men everywhere and has been an exemplary figure for years.
Actually, throughout most of his 32-year stint with
The Gleaner, Senior Sales Executive Alves Deans has been joining the hands and hearts of members of the advertising department for an admirable cause. Though he maintains that his actions are not for glory, Deans has been organising much support for the cadre of young men at the Matthew 25 Boys’ Home in Kingston.
“It was an idea I had long ago,” he said, caught between piles of tasks arranged neatly on his desk when we caught up with him. “I used to encourage the other sales reps for us to seek a boys’ home, until it came to reality and we started raising some money for Matthew 25.”
At the time, a nurse associated with the company also had ties to the home. Today, the advertising sales department is closely bonded to the facility.
“We assist the boys’ home depending on their needs, but we have two major functions, back to school and Christmas treat,” Deans said.“Sometimes the caregivers send a note over to the nurse, saying that they need an item for school and we find the money and deal with it; sometimes they need groceries and we purchase them.”
‘ADOPT A BOY’
He said that the department started various fundraising initiatives, including cake sales, ticket sales to outings, such as plays at the theatre, and other general solicitation of contributions. Deans has also started a social club outside of The Gleaner Company where he does other charity work.
Ten years ago, the sales team took the relationship with the Matthew 25 Boys’ Home to the next level, after Deans received a light bulb idea. “I decided that we need to start having some form of closer interaction with the boys so in this department, we assign one boy to two persons to be ‘adopted’ for Christmas and see what we can give them,” he said.
Usually, the Christmas festivities culminate with food and drinks at the Gleaner’s North Street office, where the ‘adopted families’ spend the day together. In 2018, fast rising reggae sweetheart Koffee was the guest honour at the event.
Deans noted that there have also been other triumphs throughout the team’s association with the facility as during his time, two of the boys have moved on to university.
On Men’s Day, Deans has a strong message, “Boys are lagging behind and need guidance; we need to keep it real.”
He said,“We need to understand that we have a role to play in our children’s lives and that anything you can’t lose, don’t give.”