A non-profit delivering life-saving aid to destitute Jamaican children.

August '18: Shoe Drive / Summer 2018 Update

Listen to our recent radio spot on The Metro Show

Please view our current Supplies Wish List

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Thank you to our corporate sponsors!

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About Us

A Place of Safety is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization I felt compelled to establish in 2001 after many years of personal trips to the Island of Jamaica. During my visits I did what few very tourists would do: I left my comfort zone to find desperate young children begging and sometimes living on streets in their poverty-stricken communities. I was overcome with sadness as to how these children try and survive while having all the food and drink I wanted back at my hotel. I promised myself that I would return to help the children with education and living conditions. Twenty years later, after battling cancer and raising my son alone, I decided it was time to keep that promise.

I started A Place of Safety to bring awareness to the living conditions on how these children live and the visible poverty that many who visit this beautiful Island choose to ignore. My goal then, and still is, to discover a renewed sense of purpose for these youth. We work and bring supplies to children’s homes and schools. We started at Copse, a remand center for boys, and over the years have traveled across Island to places including West Haven for the disabled. Each trip we bring 20+ duffels of much needed supplies. We have provided housing, small-scale construction projects, and education as some communities have grown more violent and this is the only saving grace for these children. It's unfortunate that some remain on the streets without any other options.

I have grown wiser each time I visit, realizing it’s not how hard we work, but working smarter to develop the intervention programs that are needed. Stimulation, nutrition, and education have the greatest impact, along with unconditional love.

There is an ongoing need for additions and more space to provide for the vision of each new child we meet. Saving these children will not change the world, although the world in which they live will change. Please explore our website to find out more information and how you can donate.

Goals for 2018

  • • Financial target for 2018: $20,000
  • • Continue successful shoe drive that has been running since 2014
  • • Collect general supplies (view our wish list) or donations, particularly to support the great work at the community center in Litchfield, a rural area in Jamaica.
  • • Working towards permits, licenses, and down payments to acquire the property Place of Safety would like to provide for the children in need. The property I pray for is in Kingston, and would provide a transition home for abused women and children.
  • • Purchase solar panels for Robin's Nest and much needed supplies to keep youth safe and educated
  • • Working to expand the Theodora Project in Nergril, which is a non-profit, educational facility that caters to youth at risk of human trafficking.

Monetary Goals and Uses

  • • A monetary donation of just $5.00 can provide FIVE new pair of shoes for children!
  • $1875.00 for used bus to drive children to and from school. 95% of children depend on cabs for transportation and if the money is not available they cannot attend class.
  • • Continue funding for additions to Pastor Scarlett’s Ministry that takes in high-risk youth.
  • • Continue funding for various orphanages and schools we support. The cost to run these organizations depends mainly on outside resources.
  • • Gently used luggage bags, shoes, clothes, and purses. A large bag or piece of luggage is what many use to store their personal items; furniture is seldom an option in one-room shacks shared by families.
  • • Funding and musical instrument’s needed for the music school to continue the work main of Vinton Haughton to keep high-risk youth off the streets and lead to a brighter future.
  • • Sponsoring children and adults that have gotten lost in the system to attend classes to read through the Jamaica Jamal program. The cost for one person is $530.00 a year not counting transportation due to limited locations on the Island.
  • • Shipping and customs for 25 pounds of goods from U.S. = $125 per shipment! Additional funds needs for extra luggage costs when traveling (see pictures).
  • • My "Family" in Jamaica, who are vendors, needs a permanent site to sell their goods. Even though permits and licenses are up to date, these supplies are illegally confiscated and they are left to start over and never get ahead. It is a struggle to make a living like this but this is their only way of survival and all they know.

Recent Projects

Shoe Drive Update / Summer 2018 Update

2018 Shoe Drive 2018 Shoe Drive

So far in 2018, Kim and I have shipped over 9550 pairs of shoes! An enormous thank you to Hazzard Moving and storage for allowing us to store the shoes as well as their help on a weekly basis. We appreciate all who donate so we can help the less fortunate both here and across the pond!

Peace and Love,

Roni and Kim

2017 Trip

A Place of Safety - 2017 Jamaica Trip from A Place of Safety on Vimeo.

1. Distributed supplies from our 25 duffels to children's homes throughout the island

Duffel bags Duffel bags

2. Theodora Project Housekeeping

Place of Safety donated a training room and supplied furniture for housekeeping for the Theodora Project in Negril.

Thanks to all who helped with the Theodora Project in Negril. It is a non-profit, educational facility that centers to youth who are at risk of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation due to a lack of educational and employment opportunities.

We raised funds to furnish a room for the students to train to work in the hospitality industry. We look forward to continuing our work with the Theodora Project.

Theodora Project Theodora Project

3. Brought Solar energy to community center in rural area of Trelawny

Theodora Project Theodora Project

We bought solar panels and electronics supplies for rural community center that we helped build.

4. Delivered much-needed supplies Robin's Nest children's home.

Robin's Nest Children's Home Robin's Nest Children's Home

2016 Trip

View full gallery of photos from the trip

Day 1: Arrived in Montego Bay. Visited Robin's Nest Children's Home in the hills of St. John, delivering much needed clothing and supplies including many shoes collected from our shoe drive.

Watch thank-you video from Miss Joy who I've known for 15 years, who ensures the children are fed daily at Robin's Nest.

Day 2: Met Kimroy Bailey, who drove us to Trelawny to help design and finish building the first renewable energy community center in a rural area of Jamaica. Having recently completed an electrical engineering degree, he is spearheading the effort to build solar energy and wind turbines for the center, instructing children about engineering and robotics in the process. The community center is expected to facilitate a 6 month skills training program for unemployed persons in and around the area. Courses include house keeping, computer literacy, and traditional high school courses. The fact that the community center will utilize renewable solar and wind energy is important because electricity is not common in these remote rural areas.

Watch a video from Kimroy Bailey, explaining the importance of technical education.

Currently the community center is under development, requiring additional work such as painting, tiling, and installation of desks, computers, and basic office supplies.

Day 5: Delivered supplies to Muirton Child Care Facility in Portland, Jamaica. During the trip, we delivered at least 15 duffels of much-needed supplies to 3 different Children's homes.

Early 2015: Sponsorship

Sponsor a Child - Suezene, Kamarly, or Miguel Jr. (left to right in photo)

To sponsor a child for food, health care, shelter, and educational opportunities, specify the child's name in your secure donation via PayPal or contact Roni Reichold directly at 314-324-9973. You will have direct contact with them through your sponsorship.




July 2014 Trip

Traveled from Kingston up the coast northwest all the way to Negril distributing supplies. I am now beginning to work with the Community Resource Centre in Sav-la-Mar, Westmoreland who teaches youth reading and computer skills. I am also working with a group called the Theodora Project, a non-profit organization located in Negril that works to empower young people at risk of being exploited in human trafficking and the commercial sex trade by offering opportunities for education, skills training, and personal development. Since our trip, several boys have graduated from the HEART program and found jobs. We will continue to support this special organization in the future.

I am also involved with the Rock House Foundation who transforms the places where Jamaica's children learn and supports the people who teach them. This foundation directly impacts the lives of thousands of children and their families everyday.

2014-Present: Shoe Drive

Approximately 630 million pairs of shoes are thrown away each year that end up in landfills. These shoes contribute to a long-term methane gas problem as they compost. Instead of throwing these shoes away, they can contribute to the uplifting of people all around the world through “A Place of Safety.”


Current Progress: 10,000 / 12,000 lbs of shoes collected

We are collecting shoes in any condition, and need your help. Your contribution will accomplish a number of things. First, recycling worn shoes reduces toxins in our environment. Second, it puts shoes on people less fortunate who are in need around the globe. For example, thongs on children in Africa can prevent tape worms. In many places, you cannot atttend school without a pair of shoes. Ultimately, we create "shoe banks" at these schools. Therefore, the child that has no shoes will receive a pair when they enroll. And when they outgrow them, they turn them in for the next size. The original shoes get cleaned up and ready for the next child. This creates a hand-up, not a handout! And thirdly, the shoe drive builds micro-enterprise partners as these shoes are distributed around the world, helping improverished people to grow enterprises to feed, clothe, and house their families. In developing nations like Haiti, Africa, and Jamaica, Micro-enterprise means survival for many families. It is the only possibility for self-sustainability.

Please help “A Place of Safety Charity,” my passion, to provide for orphans and homeless children in Jamaica. This fundraiser is a win for everyone! Jamaica’s national motto is “Out of Many, one People”. Let’s unite as one to help not only the children in the U.S., but those of developing nations as well!

We need drop off points in your home, office, school or place of worship. We will provide boxes and posters that can be used for collection days (or weeks). We will then pick them up. Additionally, we can provide you with a customized video for YOUR organization that promotes your business as well as our shoe drive, which we will also feature on our website. For example, see the video created for Ursuline Academy's shoe drive.

Gather footwear that is no longer useful and pass it on. Reduce toxins in our environment. Lend a hand to people in impoverished countries. Assist “A Place of Safety” in this drive to help provide scholarships and supplies to orphans in Jamaica.

Questions? Please call Veronica Reichold at 314-324-9973 or Kim Fogertey at 314-322-9212.

Right Image: Rubber flooring made from chipped shoe soles.

Click here for a growing list of drop-off points!
Click here to download a flyer for the shoe drive, or listen to our 30 minute radio spot on The Metro Show for more info.

2013 Trip

My last trip, I was fortunate enough to bring in 13 duffel bags filled with much-needed supplies, along with 6 walkers and 2 wheelchairs. I travelled across the island over a 7 day period, visiting 4 different shelters along the way. View photos from the trip here.

Providing education, school supplies, uniforms and transportation for children. Many times just having shoes determines if a child can attend school! This program tracks individual students through personal letters and progress reports.

Push Factors

Based on responses of children regarding what precipitated their situations, we have collapses the several causes into the following “Push Factors”:

  • • The consequences of actions of parents, such as neglect, migration, or directly sending their children out onto the streets
  • • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by parents/guardians, leading the children to be forced to survive on their own
  • • Destitution, being forced to supplement the inadequate income of the household, which deprives them of education or skill training
  • • Parents assuming that government-run organizations provided better care, which leads to an existence of sometimes inhumane surroundings as addressed
  • • In spite of international standards and Jamaican laws that forbid such treatment, children as young as 12 are detained for long periods in filthy and overcrowded police lockups. Often they are held in the same cells as adults accused of serious crimes, vulnerable to be victimized. These children have not been detained on criminal activity, but have been locked up only because they are in need of “care and protection.”
  • • A 2014 article explains how Jamaica's poverty rating has continued to worsen.

Accomplishments

Since 2001, we have provided Jamaican youth with safer environments and education. Some are now living in States and have grown into accomplished young adults. In Jamaica I have been to courts, shelters and jails for children that have been caught up in the system with no defense, which sometimes led me to dangerous and difficult situations.

  • • Constant distribution of supplies, which include: education materials, medicine, clothing and shoes, hygiene products, and musical instruments.
  • • Helped build Pastor Scarlett's Church in Norwood Jamaica. Scarlett mentors and takes in youth at risk and gives them aid.
  • • Bought water tanks and constructed wells to provide running water at boys home.
  • • Funds went to provide building of Jakes House, a separate room for boys, at Robins Nest orphanage.
  • • Assisted in providing education visa for several boys whom are now in United States.
  • • Continue to provide shelter for families that were once living on the streets.
  • • Raised funds for the Theodora Project, where we furnished a room for the students to train to work in the hospitality industry. We look forward to continuing our work with the Theodora Project.

View our Photo gallery to see examples of our work!

Special Thanks

Community Sponsors

  • • A special thank you to Genesys and to ARCO Construction.
  • • Special thanks to Mark Travel / Funjet for letting us bring much-needed supplies in.
  • • To all of our community donors that continue to help with the shoe drive and supplies
  • • To Kirkwood and Brentwood YWCA for our continued drop-off points for shoe drive.
  • • To Dave Marty with Hazzard Moving and Storage for letting us store these donated shoes and supplies. (and to Roger and Lance there)
  • • To Ruth Siteman for her loyal support

A special thanks to my family and friends in Jamaica who have always "watched our backs" and gave me the wisdom to get through my many adventures of tears, frustration, and joy.

  • • Pastor Bernard Scarlet and family
  • • Pearl Crooks
  • • Michelle Robinette
  • • Vinton Haughton
  • • Avenja & Fabian

Thank you to my dedicated cab drivers and dear friends who took me places that no others would go, and most of all for their ear along our journeys.

  • • Avenga
  • • Fabian
  • • Jeffrey
  • • Big Dread

Thank you to all our generous sponsors who make our entire operation possible! Most of all thank you to the co-founder of Place of Safety, Kim Fogertey. I could have never accomplished the changes we made without her zeal and her travels with me to areas of the Island that most would never venture. Thanks for your patience and for keeping me grounded.

Board of Directors

  • • Veronica Reichold - Founder & President
  • • Kim Fogertey - Vice-President and Treasurer
  • • Desmond Reichold - Executive Director and Music Director
  • • Barb Moore - Volunteer
  • • Janet Ferry - Volunteer
  • • Debbie Kotraba - member-at-large
  • • Tammy Romer - member-at-large
  • • Luke Reichold - Web Administrator

Contact Us

Questions? Please call Veronica Reichold at 314-324-9973 or Kim Fogertey at 314-322-9212.

foxyform.com

Press and Radio

In the Webster-Kirkwood Times
In the St. Louis American
In the St. Louis Post Dispatch
2013 radio spot on The Metro Show
2014 radio spot on The Metro Show
2016 radio spot on The Metro Show

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