Jays Bookstore: 40 years, $40,000
For Jays Bookstore age is not just a number; for Jays, as you get older you give more to charity; and for Jays you do not shout too loudly about it because, for Jays, there is always simple joy in giving.
Last week John Lewis, the proprietor of Jays Bookstore, presented to various not-for-profit organisations EC$1000 for every year of Jay's existence.
"This year Jays Bookstore is celebrating is celebrating 40 years of existence. Some people may believe this institution is five years old or ten years old but we are 40 years old," Lewis said. "And as part of our celebration we decided in a simple way to donate $40,000 to the institutions you see here; $30,000 to the Education Trust Fund and $2,500 to the other institutions."
The other institutions were: the Grotto Home for the Homeless, Dominica Infirmary, Crime Stoppers and Operation Youthquake. "He is helping other organisation, other students very quietly in the background," said Willie Fevrier, the chairman of the board of directors of the Ministry of Education's Education Trust Fund (ETF) about Lewis of Jays Bookstore. "He's a very generous person and his organisation has always shared its success with others who need help".
Earlier Fevrier told Dominica News Online that the Fund was experiencing some challenges in 2018 since one of its main contributors, the private sector, was hit hard by Hurricane Maria and the looting that followed.
Fevrier said that the Fund would not be asking the private sector, one of the main supporters of the Fund, for contributions at that time. Government is the other major contributor; it provides a subvention of $50,000 to the Education Trust Fund per year.
The ETF was established in 1981 through an Act of Parliament to assist students who were experiencing financial difficulty in attending secondary school. These children are being assisted with the purchase of books, transportation and registration as well as examination fees.
Jays Bookstore has always been a generous contributor to the ETF. In 2015, the company donated EC$20,000 to the Fund.
"We believe that it is important that our people are educated. We know there are persons who may not be able to afford an education except they get assistance and I am one of those persons, I should say," Lewis told the presentation ceremony at Government Headquarters last week. "The buzz word in recent times is resilience and we believe for a country to be truly resilient its people must be educated".