On January 16, 2014, Rosemarie Smith helped build a purple house in Jamaica.
She worked alongside family, old friends and new ones, to build the house on the one-year anniversary of her son Kyle Good’s death, in his memory. Then, in a moving ceremony, she handed over the keys to the home to its new owner, Beverley, and her children.
“It was a perfect trip, I wouldn’t change anything about it,” said Rosemarie of her recent mission trip with Food For The Poor, during which the home was built. “I can’t wait to go back.”
When Kyle was 18, he went on a similar trip with his high school, St. Joseph Academy in St. Augustine, Fla. His mother recalled that it took Kyle about six months to raise money to pay for his trip.
“I wanted Kyle to learn, in raising the money himself, that there are good people who are willing to help,” said Rosemarie.
She said that in taking part in the trip, her son stepped out of his comfort zone. She added that he was always there for the underdog. He was someone who chose to “pay it forward” as a generous volunteer, a loving older brother and son, and a dedicated friend.
On January 16, 2013, Kyle was killed at age 20 in a motorcycle accident. Just after his death, his mother thought of Food For The Poor, and the dramatic impact the charity had on her son’s life.
“I want to build a house for a family in Jamaica, to continue Kyle’s legacy there,” she said in a recent interview. “I’m going to continue his legacy by giving back.”
In lieu of flowers, Rosemarie asked for donations in Kyle’s memory. She set an initial goal of raising $3,200, enough to build a house, and she exceeded that goal.
One year to the day after her son’s passing, Rosemarie stood with a family in front of their new home.
“It was a new, fresh start,” for Beverley and her children, said Rosemarie. “I’m doing it from my heart because it’s what I feel.”
Now that she has traveled on her first mission trip with Food For The Poor, Rosemarie said she hopes to do more.
“My goal going forward is to do as much as possible,” she said. “I want to go back to Jamaica as soon as I can.”