A cheque for $25, 000 along with 40 tablets donated by CIDEL Bank & Trust to the Salvation Army will make Christmas a little brighter and learning a lot easier for some Barbadian families and students in need of assistance.
The donation was made recently at the Salvation Army’s Reed Street headquarters. It is part of the Bank’s ongoing outreach efforts to assist schools and vulnerable groups within the surrounding environs of its Collymore Rock location. The money will assist with the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas hamper distribution programme, while the tablets will be given to the Hilda Skeene and St Albans Primary Schools.
Speaking to a small gathering of officers at the church’s head office, CIDEL’s Human Resources Manager Janelle Morris said, “We know that we are in a tough economic time as a result of COVID-19 and we know a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet because of the job losses. We also recognize that education has been the bedrock of growth in Barbados. If we can enable students to access their lessons to do well, we are pleased to be able to partner with you to do so.”
Divisional Business Manager for the Salvation Army, Sherma Evelyn, explained that officials at the two schools had reached out to the church for assistance with their online learning programmes. They reported that some students either had no access to online classrooms or had to use their parents’ cellphones to access online classes – a situation that was not tenable.
“These schools are in need of these tablets and we are making sure that they get them. We also know that they will be assigned to students. When the students have completed their work, they will return them to the school, so we have already established that they will be well used,” she said.
The church has seen a marked increase in the number of people requesting assistance. While Barbadians have been offering assistance, Evelyn encouraged even more people to get involved. Given the widespread economic fallout from COVID-19, she said the church required even more support in their efforts to assist the most vulnerable people and communities.
“During our Christmas time, we are just appealing to others to reach out to us as we help those who are coming to us. We really need everyone – individuals and businesses – to reach out to us as we help those who most need it,” she said.
The partnership with CIDEL is expected to go a long way in helping the Salvation Army’s cause.