A young woman who received fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) tuition grant from the W.H.E.E.L. (Welfare, Health, Education, Empowerment and Local Community) fund while attending university, recently made a one hundred and seventeen thousand dollars ($117,000.00) donation towards the fund as her way of saying ‘Thank You’.
According to W.H.E.E.L. coordinator, Charles Bulgin, the young lady (who prefers to remain nameless) called him one Saturday morning during October 2018, to ask how she could make her contribution of one hundred and seventeen thousand dollars ($117,000.00). Mr. Bulgin said she reminded him that she benefited from the W.H.E.E.L. fund and, therefore, wanted to give back.
“The W.H.E.E.L fund is organized by the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to help meet the high level of demand for welfare and other local church needs”, according to the W.H.E.E.L. website (wheel.centralja.org).
Since the Central Jamaica Conference launched W.H.E.E.L. in 2015, they have received over 17 million dollars towards the fund and has disbursed over 16 million dollars for various welfare needs, according to Conference Treasurer, Pastor Billy Watson. According to Pastor Watson, just about 30% of the funds go towards assisting tertiary and high school students with tuition grants annually.
According to the W.H.E.E.L. website, the W.H.E.E.L fund taps into the “gift-giving” component of Stewardship. Members of the churches are asked to make a small, consistent contribution towards the W.H.E.E.L fund on a weekly or monthly basis.
The Conference’s PDAC (Parish, Development, Action, Committees)—one committee for each of the three parishes (Manchester, Clarendon and St. Catherine) manages the W.H.E.E.L fund. Each committee, made up of both pastors and lay members, review and make decisions on the various requests for assistance.
It is noteworthy that the W.H.E.E.L. logo is now a registered trademark of the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. According to Conference President, Pastor Levi Johnson, JIPO (Jamaica Intellectual Property Office) approved documentation and submissions for registration during September 2018. The announcement was made during the last Executive Committee of the Conference, September 26, 2018.