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Jamaican Families Assisted by Mary & Cornelius Dollison

The Dollison’s Need Our Support

Family reunification has been a hot topic across the country for the past several years. Learning about parents’ cases experiencing separation from their children has brought about all kinds of emotions from parents and kids alike.

On foreign matters, we rely on the federal government to lead the way. However, immigration policies have become such a political issue that the process has become a nightmare for many immigrants. When you add in an international public health crisis this past year – many individuals and families have felt powerless to do anything. 

During these challenging times, we need servant leaders to arise, taking matters into their own hands. They rarely take credit for their work but humbly do the service work God calls them to perform.

Shanice and Lizzie

Cornelius and Mary Dollison have been helping several families during the pandemic who have fallen on challenging times, including two Jamaican women.

Shanice was a top soccer player at Ball State while earning her Bachelor’s and later obtained her Master’s in Florida. She has been trying for twelve years to become a U.S. citizen, but the path to citizenship moves at a snail’s pace bogged down by policymakers in Washington, D.C.

The other woman is Elizabeth (Lizzie) Thompson, including her daughter, Aliannah (Ali), who separated in Jamaica over two years ago. Due to COVID19, the cruise ship Lizzie was working on discontinued operations entering a Jamaican port, causing Lizzie to be unemployed and homeless. The Dollison’s assisted Lizzie with rent in Jamaica for several months. Even though the cruise line is a United States company, many of the ships register internationally. As a result, the company could not seek federal assistance for specific ships or assist their employees.

Lizzie needed immediate help and assistance reuniting with Ali, brought to Delaware County, where she was enrolled in a county school. The Dollisons immediately stepped forward. Before long, a small piece of land was acquired in Jamaica, and a contractor hired who goes back and forth from Jamaica and Delaware County. 

This past week, Ali and Lizzie have been reunited and are staying in Chicago with their newly discovered family. In speaking with Lizzie, she had this to say:

This project has been a huge blessing for my daughter and me. When I asked Mrs. Dollison if she would help me, she agreed immediately and got started on it. My job was to then find land in Jamaica. While looking for land, I found my biological family for the first time since I was orphaned at a young age.

When I was searching for land, a man named Mr. Well came into my thoughts. He has a grocery store in Whitehouse and is well known, so I figured if he does not have land for sale, he will know someone who might. Shanice, the young lady who went to Ball State and is being helped by the Dollisons, recommended that I ask Jenna ( Mr. Wells’ daughter). I sent Jenna a message, and we got to talking. She asked me where I was from and who my family was. I told her that I was adopted and didn’t know much about my family. I told her what I heard in the past about who my biological dad might be, so I gave her his name. Jenna went on to say her husband’s mother has a family member by that same name. Jenna told her mother-in-law about me and asked if she could pass my number on to her – I agreed. 

Later, I got a call from Jenna’s mother-in-law, and she was so nice and welcoming. I started telling her about myself.  I told her my biological mom’s name, and I gave her the name of my siblings. I also gave her my biological dad’s name, and guess what? My dad is her cousin! Jenna’s mother-in-law, whom I affectionately call Aunty Donna, is my cousin! She told me a bit more about my bio mom and dad. Aunty Donna would call me every day and check up on me. It felt like I’ve known her all my life. 

I was looking for land, and God leads me to Jenna, to my family, and guess what? Shanice is also my cousin! We’ve known each other for years but didn’t know that we’re related.

Interview with Lizzie Thompson, 2/5/2021

The Dollison’s & Lizzie Need Our Help

To help Lizzie and Ali, the Dollison’s opened a Go Fund Me account to raise $35,000 to buy land and construct a home in Jamaica. They made an initial draw of $3,000 to purchase the land Lizzie found in Whitehouse. They also located a housing contractor willing to expedite building the home at his cost of $32,000. If the Dollison’s can quickly raise the monies required, the contractor has promised completion by the end of March so the family can return to their homeland.

The Dollison’s have an urgent need to raise the remaining $32,000 to complete the home. You can locate the project at https://gf.me/u/zbh4z3. If donors want a charity write-off for their taxes, they can write checks to First Baptist Church, 309 E. Adams Street, Muncie, IN 47305. Please make sure that you note on your donation that it’s for “Lizzie & Ali Thompson.”

By Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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