Edwin Johnson assures program will continue; J. Lemuel Gibson takes over foundation
The weekly Saturday provision of a decent meal for over 120 kids in central Monrovia, initiated by Philip Gibson, who died suddenly on January 29 in Monrovia, would continue as his legacy to the most vulnerable in society, Edwin Johnson, brother (of Philip Gibson) told the Daily Observer on Saturday, February 9, 2019.
It was the second Saturday since Mr. Gibson, alias Master G, died and the second Saturday that the program was held in continuation of what Gibson (1972-2019) left behind.
Johnson, who resides in the United States, said the program would continue but would seek assistance from the government, organizations, and individuals who are fond of children.
“We cannot do it alone,” Johnson said. “So we need the good people, who care about children, to send in their support. Anyone interested can come to the J.L. Gibson Memorial School on Gurley Street, in Monrovia, and we will welcome their gifts or donations.”
He said supporting those in need is a family legacy started by their grandmother (Florence Bracewell Lardner) in whose memory the foundation is named.
Johnson commended the proprietor of Exodus Entertainment Center, Henry Jackson, for his continued support to the program.
“We appreciate Mr. Jackson’s support to the program, and we want him to know that we appreciate his contribution to these kids who now know that every Saturday they would get a decent meal,” he said.
He also commended a scrabble playing group, in which Gibson was a member, for its support to the program.
With the passing of Mr. Gibson, his son, J. Lemuel Gibson, also told this newspaper that his family has asked him to take over as the executive director of the foundation. He said he will continue to solicit support from the general public, to ensure that the weekly provision of “free decent meals” to the over 120 kids does not end with his father’s death.
“My father was passionate about feeding the kids, and I am going to continue,” he said during last Saturday’s feeding program. “All we need is the support of humanitarian organizations and individuals.”
The kids come from central Monrovia, Carey, Newport and Center streets, as well as nearby communities. The only rule is for them to come along with empty bowls or plates for their meal. A recipient also receives a bag of mineral water.
Lemuel said a special meal will be provided to the kids on March 30, which is his birthday, and “for a special celebration” like what his father would have done for the kids.
Philip Gibson’s wake keeping is set for February 15, while funeral and internment will occur on February 16 (his grandmother’s birthday) at Arthington, outside Monrovia.
The feeding program was initiated by the late Gibson during the height of the Ebola scourge in 2014 when scores of kids roamed central Monrovia hungry and thirsty. Prior to his death, Gibson had decided to do something about the situation and to bring back smiles on their faces. He chose to provide “free decent meals” from his own resources to the kids, as his way of identifying with them and giving them the hope that someone really cares about them.