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Three local charities were each presented with $8,000 cheques in the first quarterly distribution of funds raised under the “You Can Help!” campaign.  

According to a release, Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General and Patron of the Halo Foundation, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chet Greene made the presentations to the Sunshine Home for Girls, the Ex-Servicemen’s Association, and the St Vincent de Paul Society (Holy Family Conference).

The monies will be used to assist in covering the charities’ operational costs.

The special project was launched by the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission (London), with the purpose of engaging the diaspora and friends of Antigua and Barbuda in Europe to aid charities likely to be heavily impacted by reduced donor contributions in light of Covid-19.

The project is supported by the Halo Foundation Inc, and the Caucus of Antigua and Barbuda Ambassadors and Honorary Consuls in Europe, the release added. 

The campaign commenced approximately 10 weeks ago and to date, approximately £20,000 has been raised from a £145,000 target.

“We are extremely pleased that our ambassadors in Greece and Spain and our honorary consuls in Bulgaria, Bavaria and Russia, have all agreed to unite around this cause as one of the projects the caucus will support,” Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner in the UK, HE Karen-Mae Hill said. 

“I wish to thank Ambassador Dario Item, Ambassador Jihad Aoun, and honorary consuls Wolfgang Altmueller, Professor Dr Ivan Todorov and Julien Hansen. The project also benefits from the proven experience and generous support of HE Lady Williams and the Halo Foundation, Inc in its conception and delivery.”

During the presentation, representatives of the charities expressed gratitude for the donations.

“We would like to express our gratitude to the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission and the Halo Foundation for this effort to support the needy and vulnerable in Antigua and Barbuda, and we are happy to be chosen as one of the recipients.

“The donation will go towards assisting ex-servicemen and the widows of those who have passed,” Public Relations Officer for the Ex-Servicemen’s Association, Paul Quinn, said.

Also, the Administrator of the Salvation Army Sunshine Home for Girls, Major Barbara Forrester remarked that “debts of gratitude are never paid — they are merely acknowledged. We are extremely thankful for your continuous interest and donations. You make us feel special and blessed. Thanks for following through with your promise. We do appreciate your efforts, especially in a time like this.  The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the world’s economy. We know that it is a great sacrifice to generate funds, but I want to assure you that this money will go a long way in helping with our financial situation.”

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