The Salvation Army wants to raise half million dollars this year through its Christmas appeal.
Newly-appointed Divisional Commander, Romsemarie Brown, told Barbados TODAY this afternoon, that the annual appeal was aimed at helping the needy and indigent to enjoy their Christmas.
Brown said the funds would be collected through the traditional kettle appeal, which was launched in the City yesterday, as well as via the distribution of envelopes by post.
She added that envelopes would be placed in the printed media and about 20,000 would be sent to homes by post.
“The kettles are all over the place. The funds raised would help us carry out our feeding campaign and other social services. We will be distributing about 1,000 Christmas food hampers and making visits to institutions such as district hospitals,” the Salvation Army head pointed out.
She hoped that the half million dollars would also be enough to assist with its regular year-round programme. The Salvation Army operates a hostle for men, a meals on wheels programme and a daily feeding venture.
“It takes about $250,000 per year to operate the feeding programme, where between 80 and 100 people are catered to every day, Monday to Friday,” declared Brown.
Last year, she recalled, the Christmas appeal raised about $400,000. She called for “a new record of hope”, through the distribution of more evelopes.
“It is at this time that we see how big-hearted and nationalistic Barbadians really are.”
She observed that 2012 had been a difficult year for many, which would make the appeal even more critical.
“This year the needs are even greater than last year and we expect even more hardship to be faced by those in need. While things have been tough for everyone, we hope that people realise that it is in times like this, that we have to be our brother’s keeper,” insisted the divisional commander.
She suggested that vulnerable people such as the homeless, hungry and destitute were at even greater risk.
“Barbadians,” Brown observed, “are a giving people and last year’s contribution was certainly magnificent, topping the previous year by some $40,000.” (EJ)††