Lt. Brandon Keeping with the Salvation Army South Muskoka Ministries is travelling to Kingston, Jamaica to support the organization’s branch in the region.
He explains 20 members of the Salvation Army in Ontario are going. “We’ll be doing some renovations, some roof work, painting, replacing some windows at a children’s school for the blind as well as an evangeline centre for women,” he says. Keeping adds that buildings have fallen into disrepair. “We’re going to spruce the buildings up,” he says.
Keeping jokes he will be replacing a “fair amount of toilets” because of the plumbing issues the buildings have. On top of that, they will be replacing a tin roof above the dormitory area on the women’s centre, and fixing more than 50 windows in the three-storey apartment complex in the children’s school.
“It will be a big job,” he says. “We only have two weeks.”
Keeping leaves on Feb. 3.
He explains what is done in Jamaica is similar to what the Keepings do in South Muskoka. He says they have churches, shelters, food banks, and even thrift stores. “In Canada, we’re very very fortunate with the financial support we get, but it’s hard in other countries to get that financial support,” says Keeping.
Brandon’s wife April, also a Lt. with the Salvation Army, is staying home to take care of their children. She says being able to support other Salvation Army branches is important. “Just to see a different part of the world and see the needs there,” adds Keeping.