The Barbados Salvation Army is reporting major success with its relief efforts in Dominica. It has been able to provide 20 and 40-foot containers full of supplies, to residents in at least two hurricane-battered communities.
At a media conference Thursday, announcing a week of activities to celebrate the Army’s 120th anniversary, Divisional Business Manager Sherma Evelyn, said after analysis, the organization was able to target Kalinago and Bagattelle with the help of its St Lucia Salvation Army, which falls under the responsibility of the Barbados office.
She said the association would be providing food for the Bagatelle community for the next six months.
“We have sent a 20-foot container of food supplies to Dominica. We have been in partnership with a number of groups in Dominica,” she said, adding that the charitable organization received a substantial donation of $400,000 for the work in Dominica from the Coca-Cola Foundation.
As such, Evelyn said the Salvation Army was able to “pack a 40-foot container of building supplies to repair 10 houses”.
“To date, we have done seven of those ten and what I see I am very pleased with. Also, we have helped farmers by giving the farming supplies and we have given food supplies, water, and hygiene kits,” informed Evelyn.
She said the organization was in the process of packing another 20-foot container, this time with school supplies for a school in the Bagatelle community.
Urging citizens to continue to give generously, Evelyn said “we appreciate the donations from the Barbadian public and whatever you bring we will put in there” she said, advising individuals not to come with items for specific people.
Dominica was hit by category five Hurricane Maria last September, which left more than a dozen people dead and a trail of destruction to property and infrastructure.
It is estimated that the powerful storm could cost Dominica over $1.4 billion.
Turning her attention to the work the Salvation Army was doing locally, Evelyn said hundreds of Barbadians continued to benefit, adding that she was especially pleased with the ‘Sole to Soul’ project, which was started in February this year to provide pedicures for diabetic clients.
Besides receiving a pedicure from a retired public health nurse who is a member of the Salvation Army’s congregation, the beneficiaries also get a pair of shoes, donated by Payless Shoes Source and Nulook Boutique.
Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army Paul Bernstein, said the people of Barbados continued to give generously to the cause of the organization, adding that requests continued to grow.
“We are in a position where there is a greater demand for our services of the Salvation Army. We do many things, but the major thing we do on a daily basis is to feed 140 people and send out 40 meals to shut-ins – people who have had strokes and different types of ailments and they are not able to prepare a meal for themselves – so we are providing 180 meals per day and this [has been] increasing over time. Therefore, we have to continue to appeal to the people of Barbados to support us,” he said.
He said the organization would be having a “mid-year appeal” in the form of “having a few kettles in strategic points and sending out letters”.
Scotiabank, which donated over some half a million dollars to charitable organizations assisting with rescue and relief efforts last year in Dominica, today reaffirmed its commitment to helping the Salvation Army in its fundraising and assistance efforts.
Manager of Marketing Keisha Humphrey, said the financial institution was pleased to be a major partner with the charitable organization and would be placing kettles in its branches and doing as much as it can to assist. (MM)