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Jeff always ready to volunteer

Lisa King

Jeff always ready to volunteer

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Monday Man Jeff Shepherd is what you can call a full-fledged volunteer.  
He has been involved in a lot of organizations that help the people of this country.
Shepherd, who grew up in the church, has dedicated his life to getting involved with community-based organizations and church and sports groups in which he can be of service to others.
Over the years he has held positions on the boards and the executive committees of several organizations. Currently he is the chairman of the St Michael South Central Constituency Council, a board member of Youth for Christ, Chairman of Keswick in Barbados, and the Island Field Coordinator for Gideons International.
Shepherd said: “I am not only down here to work for people but I think I need to give back to the community, the people around me, the church.”
He said he wants to pattern his life after God, who would have used his life to help others.
“My motivation is seeing people satisfied when I do things for them,” he said.
The Christian has been attending the Carrington Road Wesleyan Holiness Church all his life and he has gotten involved in a lot of church-based organizations.
He recalled that Youth for Christ played a part in his life from when he was a teenager, though it is not as popular now. The organization, with membership drawn from various churches across the island and the aim to bring the youth together, was prominent in the late 1960s to 1980s but after the 1990s its numbers dwindled.
The board has been trying for the past few years to revive the programme. There is a director in place but things have been slow to get off the ground, Shepherd acknowledged.
“I learnt a lot of my skills in leadership from Youth for Christ; I take my hat off to [them],” he said.
Another organization he has been involved with is Keswick, a convention that operates across the Caribbean.
For the past 28 years he has been involved in Gideon’s, the organization that was responsible for distributing the small blue New Testament to schools across the island.
Shepherd also has a love for sports and has been a member of Spartans Cricket Club and is a Barbados Cricket Association Discipline Committee member.
In the area of music he has managed and advised or assisted several local bands and musicians and organized many gospel events.  
Shepherd has also done his own recordings with the group Outreach, but he is especially pleased at having had the opportunity to judge the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals, where he served as Chief Judge on occasion, the Junior Calypso Monarch and the National Independence Festival Of Creative Arts (NIFCA).  
He said that many people felt Christians should not get involved in certain things, but he loved music.
“I am very involved in Crop Over, I love it; one of my favourite musics is calypso,” he said.
However, he said that there was not enough local music to have a radio station dedicated to Barbadian music and it would become monotonous. Shepherd said that there were a lot of genres of music but a lot of people did not record their own music.
One of his newest achievements was being appointed to the Constituency Council. Shepherd said that working with the council he has gained an appreciation of the needs of the people, including the need for smoke detectors in crowded neighbourhoods.
“It has been an exciting time. I have done a lot of community work before, with Christian groups, but as chairman of the Constituency Council it was not challenging, but exciting, to get out into the community and listen to the members of this community and hear their needs and problems and try to solve some of them.
“It is really dear to my heart,” he said.