As more Barbadians knock on its doors for help, the Salvation Army is hoping to raise $800 000 in its Christmas appeal.
Public Relations Officer Major Denzil Walcott told the media on Thursday during the launch of the 2015 edition of the appeal, that last year the Army raised just over $600 000 in its Kettle and Letter appeals, while the target was $700 000.
He said the target for this year needed to be reached now more than ever and as a result, appealed to Barbadians to give cheerfully and generously when they see the kettles at 40 different centres across Barbados.
Major Walcott said while for two years the army has not held its mid-year appeal, the money raised at the end of last year, was not able to stretch as far as possible.
He said during this year, the Army had to borrow money from other accounts to carry out the work the funds raised in the appeals usually did.
Additionally, he explained that the grants the Army received from Government had not been going as far as it used to in recent years, because the costs of goods had been spiraling as the economic climate becomes more difficult.
Walcott also revealed that 350 food hampers are given out at the end of the year, while 40 people receive a food parcel every month. He said 25 families had benefitted from counseling facilitated by the army this year, and he pointed out that the men’s hostile was still up and running.
“We feed 160 persons every day; 120 at the headquarters and 40 on our Meals and Wheels programme.
“So we need to raise at least more than $800 000. I would like to raise over one million. And if we can do that, we can sort of keep our heads above water for next year,” he said.
Walcott also noted that emphasis was placed on encouraging vulnerable members in the community to help themselves.
He said the Army currently hosted three skills training programmes around Barbados, in addition to work being done by the women’s ministries.
Additionally, the Army is also putting plans in place to open an all purpose centre in Speightstown.
“In fact, a lot of our donations during Christmas time, comes from poor people who benefitted from our programme. There are some workers who would come every two weeks and give you one hundred dollars,” he said. (AH)