HOW WE STARTED | Carlton Brown
The United Friends of Highgate
A Jamaican nonprofit Organization
It’s over ten years now, in fact in September 2005, that a few friends, after not seeing each other for decades, embraced the pleasure of re-acquaintance with a promise to meet within one year; and they did. They were from Highgate, St. Mary in Jamaica and they all attended schools in Highgate. It was August 19, 2006 that they had their first formal meeting to plan the one-year promised meet in the form of a party.
The party was set for September 9, 2006 one year from the original meeting. At that party, the idea of forming a Jamaican nonprofit organization was introduced and accepted unanimously hence, the United Friends of Highgate was born. Soon they established the organization as one of the many legal Jamaican charities.
The first task was to visit Highgate to inform the community of this charitable organization’s mission. The members visited Highgate and introduce the United Friends of Highgate as a Jamaican nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of Highgate. The visit took the form of a community dinner held at the St. Cyprian Church. Members from various sections of the community attended.
The following year they launched the Highgate Chapter of the United Friends of Highgate. This also was established as a legal Jamaican nonprofit organization dedicated to the economic development of the community. The general idea was that, being on the ground, the Highgate chapter would inform the Florida chapter of the micro needs within the Highgate community and both chapters would work towards fulfilling these needs. Together, with the help of the community, they would create a strategy for macro development.
Within two years they received their 501 (C) 3 designation from the IRS. Under this designation members could not be financially compensated
All White parties. A non-fundraising free picnic was established. This was for family and supporters in appreciation for their yearly support. This is unique to Jamaican charities as all monies to fund this picnic comes from the pockets of members. It became a favorite activity for members and supporters.
The Highgate chapter began its operations by providing information regarding Highgate’s economic, healthcare, social welfare and educational needs. The Florida chapter responded with a number of projects. These projects included Health Care, Education Social Welfare and Economic Development. Much success has been achieved in these particular areas of endeavor. To read about these accomplishments see sub topics under Accomplishments in the top menu or follow the respective links. This Jamaican nonprofit organization is now prepared to work with the community to create a strategy for economic development.