Boys help classmate who lost home in fire

November 18, 2019
Omar Lindo (back row, third right) along with classmates who decided to help him through hard times.
Omar Lindo (back row, third right) along with classmates who decided to help him through hard times.
O’neil Ankle, principal of Jonathan Grant High School.
O’neil Ankle, principal of Jonathan Grant High School.
Omar Lindo with items purchased by his classmates.
Omar Lindo with items purchased by his classmates.
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Grade-nine student at Jonathan Grant High School, Omar Lindo, was devastated after fired destroyed the place he called home on Nugent Street in Spanish Town, St Catherine, last Tuesday.

But some of his classmates have tried to make his life easier by pooling money to replace some of the items he lost.

Lindo, 16, is even staying at the home of one of his classmates, while his father tries to sort out their living situation.

"One of the boys asked if he could stay with him and the parent agreed, and so that's where he's staying right now," said the school's principal, O'neil Ankle.

He noted that when Omar came to school last week after the fire, he was in tears.

"The boys from his class gathered around him. About six boys from his class decided to help him, and so they start asking classmates and others to buy stuff for him. They bought a lot of stuff for him ... toothpaste, toiletries, and so on," he said.

Ankle said that late last week, the boys gave him $10,000 for Omar that they pooled from other students.

"I understand that the footballers also came together to help him and his parents," he said.

Gladstone Lindo, 44, Omar's father, thought all hope was lost after his house went up into flames and everything he owned was destroyed.

He told THE STAR that he is beyond grateful for the students' assistance.

"We lost everything ... I didn't get to save anything. I am more than thankful. It kinda ease the stress off me. When I heard what the boys were doing, what went through my mind was, me like the kind of friends that my son chose because they showed a lot of love to him," he said.

Lindo said he didn't even have the money to get Omar a haircut.

"They took him to the barbershop and get him trim up and all these things. They got fare from their parents ... they just contributed a lot. They bought foodstuff and those things for him ... I am thankful," he said.

Ankle says the boys' altruistic act has restored his faith in Jamaica's youths.

"A set of boys decided to take on this, and that is what kinda moved my heart. Many times we just think that the boys are going down the wrong path, and we're just behind the girls. So I think Jamaica needs to know that there is hope! It really made me feel good. Trust me, it has made my month!" he said.

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