Sun | Mar 7, 2021

Tea Cup Jamaica committed to helping CSEC students - Promoter sells masks and jump ropes to fund initiative

Promoter sells masks and jump ropes to fund initiative

Published:Saturday | January 23, 2021 | 12:06 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
The handover at Lennon High School was made by Terrel Pencle (right), founder of the Tea Cup Support Fund Initiative to Frederick Lattery, principal of the school and student, Ashley Blockstock.
The handover at Lennon High School was made by Terrel Pencle (right), founder of the Tea Cup Support Fund Initiative to Frederick Lattery, principal of the school and student, Ashley Blockstock.
From left: Owen Rodney, guidance counsellor, Vere Technical High School, and students Devonte Johnson and Jeff Walters are part of the welcoming party for Tea Cup Jamaica’s Terrel Pencle.
From left: Owen Rodney, guidance counsellor, Vere Technical High School, and students Devonte Johnson and Jeff Walters are part of the welcoming party for Tea Cup Jamaica’s Terrel Pencle.
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With the wearing of face masks being mandatory, in an attempt to reduce the spread of coronavirus, event organiser and registered dietician Terrel Pencle conceptualised a way to marry his passions for party planning, healthy living and giving back to the community. It involved spreading awareness around the need for the protective gear.

“The team remains concerned about the safety and well-being of our nation and we are committed to doing our part to not only educate the youths about the protocols to minimise the proliferation of the virus, but contribute to their education by whatever means available to us,” Pencle told The Gleaner. The outreach project – Tea Cup Support Fund Initiative – which was launched over a year ago to assist high-school students experiencing financial challenges, “is still very much active despite our events being put on pause, we stand by our theme ‘an investment in knowledge pays the best interest’.”

Usually, part proceeds from events like the Tea Cup Breakfast and Brunch in Clarendon would go towards outreach or charitable projects, but the Tea Cup Jamaica team had to get creative, he said. Which is where the idea to make and sell masks was birthed. Over 3,000 masks were commissioned for schools, a dressmaker fulfilling the order, and sold at a starting cost of $350.

“The cost of the masks would be dependent on the number ordered, and persons could also request for customisation with logos printed on them,” he said.

However, with the sale of fabric masks gradually decreasing, Pencle expressed more reasons to explore other items for sale so they could meet their goal to help as many CSEC students as possible with paying their registration fees on time.

MASK DISTRIBUTION CHALLENGES

“There were times when the selling of masks was also difficult, from the long wait to get them made, to the printer for customisation and finally, delivery. Sometimes customers would return them because of the incorrect size; as they may have been too large, or small. Hence, loss of income was inevitable,” he said. “As a dietician, health and fitness is part of my work. So I began selling my ‘i-Jumped For Life’ skipping ropes to further assist with the outreach project and the feedback was great especially as more persons were becoming conscious or saw the use for the exercise tools as an activity to do during the pandemic.”

Approximately 100 jump ropes were sold at $3,500 each.

Pencle explained, “The students that benefited from 2019 contributions encouraged us to continue; as students passed up to eight subjects with distinctions. Education is important and I strongly believe, at this level, those prerequisites are critical to transition into society. I am [also] humbled by my own journey where I received an opportunity at the right time to study to become a dietician.”

Six schools in Clarendon benefited from the initiative recently, namely, the Garvey Maceo, Foga, Central, Vere Technical, Kemps Hill, and Lennon high schools, with students’ exam entry fees and at least two exams being paid for, as well as paying for one student’s CAPE subjects.

“We were able to gather enough funds, also through the help of sponsors, to complete that task, but the mission is continuous as we have received other requests for the initiative to help students in need of tablets and other school supplies,” Pencle shared as he promoted the upcoming Tea Cup Plates cookout on the calendar for January 29, where persons islandwide may order from a mouth-watering menu created by celebrity chefs.

“I am urging persons who are concerned about the education of Jamaica’s children to support Tea Cup Plates, and I express my gratitude to everyone who has contributed by purchasing ‘i-Jumped For Life’ ropes, masks, through private donations. This is just the beginning of greatness as the Tea Cup Team continues to assist our youths and promise that we’ll include other schools and areas as the initiative grows,” he said.

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