True wish makers

At every moment of the day, in some part of the universe, an expression of a desire or inclination is made. More often than not, these wishes are varied and without boundaries or limits.

They are made while gazing at the stars, while throwing coins in a fountain, in places of solitude, in noisy stadia and at the start of a New Year. Clearly, while not all wishes bear fruit for one reason or another, there is always some sense joy by a wisher whenever their wish is fulfilled.

However, there is another side to the coin and that is perhaps the gratification that comes from making the wishes of others come true, and, which is a good enough reason to hail charitable organisations.

The Precious Touch Foundation of Barbados is a case in point.

One year ago, five year old Atwan Foster — a Barbadian child with challenged circumstances — was given an opportunity to make a wish by the Precious Touch Foundation of Barbados. Atwan, who is reported to be somewhat shy, speaking through his grandmother, chose travelling on an airplane.

The foundation granted him his wish and for the past two weeks he has been enjoying himself in New York, where he has relatives. And, since his wish took him outside of the Caribbean, he is accompanied by Harriette Clarke from Cane Gardens in St. Thomas, who is a teacher at the Foundation School in Christ Church and member of the Precious Touch Foundation.

During a radio interview on World Today – 106.7 FM, Clarke indicated that Atwan was having a good time with a clearly observable difference in his behaviour when compared with last year. Clarke further stated that so far the organised schedule took them to the Barbados Consulate at New York, where they met with the Consul General Lennox Price, a church service at the St. Leonard’s Church on Putnam Avenue in Brooklyn, and to a meeting at the Barbados Ex Police Association.

When asked about fund-raising Clarke said:

“We mainly rely on donations which we get from corporate Barbados and three well wishers in particular. We also have cake sales.”

And when asked about the foundation, Clarke noted: “Precious Touch Foundation is the brainchild of the current President Ms. Adoriel Maxwell-Hazel, a former air traffic controller who got the idea from a film, A Child’s Wish, which she saw in 2003.

“The foundation is six years old, and to date it has granted 18 wishes. Unfortunately, we have lost seven of the children, but that pain cannot replace the joy of seeing the enjoyment which comes to the children whenever their wishes are fulfilled.

“I wish to publicly thank the members of St. Leonard’s Church, and the Barbados Ex-police Association for the donations which they have made to the Precious Touch Foundation.”

Last Friday, Clarke attended the Barbados Ex-police Association’s Karaoke and Fun night. Again, once Aswan’s story was told to the large gathering that was present, they responded by placing their contributions in the hat that was passed around.

The Precious Touch Foundation Inc, caters to the wishes of children (two to 16) with life-threatening medical conditions.

Founded six years ago, the mission of the foundation is to translate the aspirations, dreams and wishes of children with life threatening conditions into tangible encounters and fulfilling memorable experiences.

The foundation is dedicated to rendering service to children, building warm and caring relationships, promoting a loving nation without prejudice, giving children and families moral support, developing public awareness of the needs of seriously ill children and creating and maintaining a relationship with other health care facilities and charitable organisations.

The Precious Touch Foundation receives corporate donations, respects the privacy of the children and their families and has a carefully developed process to receive, confirm and administer the wishes of children.

The famous Sparrow song, Three Coins in the Fountain, set in Port of Spain Trinidad, is alleged to tell a story about a Bajan who sought to exploit the tradition of placing coins and making wishes. The Atwan Foster’s story, although it is about wishes, is real. It is not folklore. It is really about giving to others. Maybe, the next time you are tempted to place your coins in a safe place, you should remember the Atwans of this world and make a donation to the Precious Touch Foundation.

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