The Salvation Army says 2018 has been good year for the church as Barbadians have been good to it.
During an interview with Barbados TODAY at the Army’s headquarters in Reed Street, The City, Divisional Commander Major Darrell Wilkinson and Divisional Business Manager Sherma Evelyn, have reported that despite economic austerity, individuals and corporations dug deep into their pockets, to raise close to the $650,000 target for contributions in 2018.
The Salvation Army expects the target to be reached when the donations are tallied for its letter appeal which ends this month. Barbadians have been giving through the Army’s Christmas Kettle Appeal, making it success, they told Barbados TODAY.
Evelyn said: “We will still be getting donations from the public, and that usually goes down until January. We don’t want to say that we are there, because we haven’t finished tallying everything because we still have persons to bring in envelopes for the mail appeal. But for the kettles, that appeal did very well. Most units actually went over what they did last year, with only about one or two falling below.
“But overall, the shortfall would be made up by another unit which would have gone well above what they had last year. So we want to say thank you to the Barbadian public. We know some people want to have their letters dated for the end of the year, because of tax reasons, but we want to close that off, so they need to get it in as soon as possible.”
Last year, the Salvation Army reported a 25 per cent drop in financial contributions to the church and charitable organisation through its Christmas Appeal.
Divisional Commander Wilkinson said the Army was extremely appreciative of the public’s donations, especially since many people, though feeling the impact of a difficult economic climate, still gave of their meagre resources, to help others.
“It shows us that they have confidence in our Ministry, and our integrity as an organization, and we try to maintain that as much as we possible can, and we look forward to greater support in 2019, as we continue the best we can with our limited resources. In general, corporate Barbados has been very supportive this year, in spite of all the challenges. Last year was a good year for us. We felt the support of the general public of Barbadians and we were able to do more. With the public we would not have been able to do it,” Major Wilkinson said.
The head of the Salvation Army here also encouraged Barbadians to will some of their possessions to help the Army carry out its charitable work.
Evelyn said that Barbadians also went all out in donating clothes. She said officials are now in the process of making space in the area the clothing is kept, for more donations to come.
“We have actually been well blessed. So, even if people could not give financially, people called and told us they have a turkey that we can get for our dinner. And we have about three or four persons who donated turkey, so we didn’t have to buy any,” said the business manager.
She reminded donors who made their gifts with national identification cards, to first register with the revenue authority’s tax system, TAMIS, in order to receive tax credits for their charitable donation.
Evelyn explained: “We cannot upload unless we have the new TAMIS number. We have a lot of people that we upload for, but we just want people to know that it is vital that they get that TAMIS number and get it to us, because the deadline to submit those donations is the 28th of February.”