NEW YORK – The Jamaica Tourist Board has given its blessing to TAKE 5, a new campaign to support community projects and faith-based initiatives in the Caribbean that support young people. TAKE5 (www.take5now.org) is an initiative of Miles Ahead, an outreach organization founded by San Diego-based pastor, evangelist and former professional NFL football player, Miles McPherson.
The campaign encourages millions of Caribbean Diaspora residents to “take five minutes to invest US $5” and make a long-term investment in communities by investing in Caribbean youth development programs that can sustain themselves.
“We are pleased to associate our brand with the philanthropic efforts of Miles Ahead,” said Jamaica’s Director of Tourism Basil Smith, who pledged the support of the Jamaica Tourist Board for efforts to edify and uplift its young people, as well integrating them into the vitally important travel and tourism industry.
Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett recently disclosed that Jamaica is actively working to target the important and growing faith-based travel market, highlighting the work of almost 300 Miles Ahead volunteers who, together with local churches and community organizations, conducted sports clinics, deaf education workshops, school assemblies and helped renovate two local elementary schools this past April.
“We view the Jamaica Tourist Board’s support of our efforts to work with Caribbean-American nationals to “DO Something” for young people in the Caribbean as visionary,” said Pastor McPherson whose father and grandparents are from Jamaica. He also thanked the Ministry of Health and Environment for supporting its faith-based humanitarian mission to Jamaica, in which 80 medical professionals brought some US $5 million in free medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and health care to Montego Bay. The volunteers, who included specialist doctors, pediatricians, surgeons, dentists and nurses, held free clinics and served an estimated 6,000 residents.
“You can make a difference just by taking 5 minutes out of your life to send $5 (or $50 or $500), and help Miles Ahead and our Caribbean partners offer youth hope and leadership,” pleaded McPherson who said programs will focus on mentoring, fostering leadership skills, and bringing the hope of God’s love to young people. “We hope to have a powerful and positive impact in all areas of life, whether education, moral behavior, resisting drug use, or avoiding crime,” he added.
Miles McPherson chatting with Jamaica’s youth
Miles Ahead, which has plans for many outreach activities throughout the Caribbean region, traveled to Jamaica this year as part of the Jamaica Broilers Group’s 50th anniversary celebrations and three major family-oriented festivals, under the Best Dressed 50 Fest banner, presented in Mandeville, Montego Bay and Kingston. Evangelists Luis and Andrew Palau presented messages as well as McPherson himself.
Video highlights of the outreach and the crusades are available at the recently launched interactive rich media site www.mileshead.tv or www.take5now.org.