Wednesday, 19 December 2012 02:30
By Nicole Shirley
Antigua St. John's - He was not born into a wealthy family, neither is he familiar with things being served to him on a silver platter. On the contrary, he is a visionary who works extremely hard and a man who delights in sharing his ‘harvest’ with the disenfranchised.
In some quarters selfishness has become the order of the day. For unknown reasons generosity has so distanced itself from some folks that not even a prayer is offered when a needy neighbour knocks on their door.
Leroy Campbell, whose name is synonymous with horse racing, has chosen to play the role of the perennial Good Samaritan, and finds it quite fulfilling.
He’s been a jockey for over 20 years, sponsored several races and has savoured successes such as winning the Red Stripe Super Stakes in Barbados in 2005. Leroy Campbell is also known in the transportation industry as the owner of Wishes Bus Services, plying the East Bus Station to Newfield route.
However, there is a much more noble and noteworthy side of Campbell: Over time the man who hails from a very humble background has evolved into a philanthropist, and says his kind deeds are never done to gain him social recognition.
“It’s just in my nature to help. I can never see myself walking around with extra in my pocket knowing someone is struggling to put a meal on his table. That is not living at all. Life is all about helping those who cannot help themselves. I don’t give with the motive of getting back, it’s just a very good feeling to help people. But I have noticed a trend; the more I give is the more I get. I am not saying if I give a cellular phone I get one back. I am repaid in different ways. I remember some time ago bus drivers were having some difficulties and I was getting a lot of charters; things just always work out for me.”
Campbell, who appears to be inspired by Biblical instructions on giving, seems never “weary in well-doing”. So when asked, he willingly accepted the role of chief donor to the Vagrants Feeding Program, which sees over 100 persons receiving a warm meal the last Thursday of every month. He said once the opportunity arose for him to assist he could not say no.
“I was approached by two welfare officers to help and I have had no regrets. The whole experience has been enjoyable. I love doing it, and will keep at it until someone else steps in.”
He says the program is well organised, and he also speaks glowingly of the welfare officers.
“They are very professional and genuinely care about the welfare of the less fortunate,” is how he put it.
The projects Campbell attaches himself to suggest that he finds immense fulfilment in contributing to the development of the nation’s youths.
He has donated financially to the Newfield Primary School graduation program, the school’s netball team and the Beryl Crump Pre-school in Freetown.
He has also contributed to various church activities, fairs and camping trips, and has for three consecutive years been an Optimist Petite Sponsor under the name of his bus company, Wishes Bus Services.
Campbell says he would like to be remembered as one who excelled in horse racing, but more importantly, as one who was always willing to lend a helping hand.
In a world that is suffocating from greed and selfishness, Leroy Campbell’s kindness not only adds a breath of fresh air but makes him a true source of inspiration.