World famous reggae artiste Shaggy is to stage a concert early next year, to raise US$2 million to buy much needed equipment for the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew.
Shaggy told THE STAR he recently had a meeting with some corporate sponsors and it was decided that a concert would be held on the lawns of Jamaica House on January 3, 2009.
He said the idea came to him while visiting the hospital recently. While there, he said, a man came up to him and asked if he could visit his daughter, an eight-year-old girl who had a bullet in her head, in the intensive care unit. Shaggy said he was told that the life-support machine the girl was on, was one that he had bought.
Rotated off dialysis machines
Shaggy was also told that children with kidney ailments were being rotated off dialysis machines – that he also bought – every four hours and realised that more needed to be done for the hospital.
“I realised I had to do something else,” he said. “I called some of the best corporate sponsors to a meeting in my living room and basically said we are going to throw this concert on the third (of January),” Shaggy said.
This drive, he said, would form part of his campaign this Christmas to raise money for the hospital and raise awareness of the problems that the hospital faces so that more people can come onboard. He said the US$2 million (approximately J$154 million) is what is needed to acquire the equipment.
Shaggy first became involved in charitable projects for the children’s hospital several years ago when the son of noted producer, Tony Kelly, was admitted there. However, the hospital did not have the necessary equipment to help Kelly’s son. It was then that he made the commitment to provide much needed help for the hospital. He also helps with other charities.
In light of the help needed to improve the conditions of institutions like the children’s hospital, Shaggy said Jamaicans needed to start doing more to help each other. “It’s time that we Jamaicans fix things for ourselves and stop sitting down and waiting for hand-outs,” he said.