GEORGE Lindsay, the Manchester father who was last week set on selling his house in order to help fund his daughter’s dream of studying medicine in China, yesterday saw her off at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, thanks to Jamaica Observer readers, here and abroad, who were touched by his story.
Easily, the largest donation he received was from the mother of a prominent Jamaican businessman who paid the $1 million required for the first year.
The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, met the family in Mandeville last Wednesday and paid the sum over to the university through their account.
“Oh, my God!” Lindsay said as he tried to find words to express his feelings. “It is tremendous! It is just tremendous! Her money has been paid to the bank and a lot of persons have been giving; the help is more than what I did even expect! One person went and paid a million dollars for her. I got half-a-million from the Office of the Prime Minister, and NCB gave us $400,000. People called me from America and sent what they could and Jamaicans have been contributing. So it is adding up to covering more than her first year, because we are well on our way to covering her third year.”
In fact, the Observer readers have been so generous that Lindsay said he has postponed his plan to sell his family house.
“Right now I have put that plan on hold, because persons have been encouraging me not to sell, and even that businessman whose mother gave the million said I should not sell,” Lindsay told the Sunday Observer.
His daughter, Georgia, who graduated from Hampton School this year with 12 CSEC subjects (10 at grade one and two at grade two), and eight CAPE units (four grades one, three twos and one three), had always wanted to become a medical doctor.
She was accepted to start a six-year course at Anhui Medical School in China, which begins in five days, but her parents were unable to come up with the $1 million.
Two Fridays ago, Lindsay told the Sunday Observer that he had already given his daughter “about $300,000”, while her mother, who is living abroad, had contributed additional funds.
He explained that he initially started operating a grocery shop, but it was not profitable enough to fund his daughter’s education, so he leased it and went into farming after being loaned two acres of land by a childhood friend living in New York.
Lindsay also tried his hand at butchering, and during the recent drought he planted melons, which thrive in dry conditions. He also planted tomatoes in-between seasons to make up the funds. After the melons were depleted Lindsay turned his hand at rearing 50 chickens, which he sold and handed that money over to his daughter.
Yesterday, Georgia left Jamaica an overwhelmed and happy young woman.
“I must say that I am extremely grateful for all the help that I received from everyone, including those from overseas and the entire Jamaican diaspora,” she said with a broad smile. “To Hampton School and also the Hampton old girls and all the persons who reached out to me, I am grateful for everything!”
The 19-year-old said the help she has received has made her life’s dream possible.
“I am well on my way, and I am hoping to make everybody proud, including my family, my friends, everyone who has contributed to making it possible. I am looking forward to doing my best,” she said.
Meanwhile, her father said he has also been offered a second-hand meat saw, which he is yet to collect.
“So that would mean I could go into the butchering business and have that turning over, because she going to be there six years and will need money to take care of herself each month,” Lindsay said.
“Plus, I still have to think about the other years’ tuition. I cannot give up until she has completed. Like I said before, I am a broke father, but a proud father, and I am even prouder now. Oh, my God, I can’t even begin to explain how I feel!
“I thank the people of Jamaica and the world for the kind-hearted support that has made my daughter able to go to China comfortable, and study comfortable,” Lindsay said.
“And I really want to thank my friend, Donnie Rochester, who stayed all the way in the United States and made all this possible, because he was the one who brought the matter to the attention of the Observer and, therefore, the world,” Lindsay added.
“…And the main thing, thanks to the Jamaica Observer, and I must repeat myself again, thanks to the Jamaica Observer. You wouldn’t know what you did for me and my family. I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
“I tell everybody that the Jamaica Observer is the best paper; the way you share my story and how you put it out there that all the world could see it and help us. I am not going to let down the Observer. I will always keep in touch and let you know how Georgia is doing every step of the way. Thank you very much,” Lindsay said.
In response to the flood of calls he said he received from people here and abroad offering to help and asking for an account number, Lindsay said funds can be lodged to his NCB account number 50-4524779.
“I want to let everyone know that I have not touched a dollar of what she got. Everything just went straight to her,” Lindsay said.