By Carlena Knight
The Salvation Army will be depending on the public to assist in its effort to raise EC $160,000 through the annual Christmas Kettle initiative, which gets underway on the weekend.
Last year, the group surpassed its EC $150,000 goal and it hopes that it will accomplish the same feat in 2021.
While speaking to Observer media on Monday, Shawn Nicholas, the Interim Chairperson of the Advisory Board highlighted the beneficial impacts of the staple social outreach programme which she said helps in funding other community projects.
“During the Covid period, we know a lot of people were out of work and the Salvation Army, with assistance from some partners, were able to provide food packages on a regular basis to persons who were in need. But outside of that, on a weekly basis the Salvation Army has the feeding of the poor programme; they provide relief in terms of emergencies and these sorts of things. So, the work of the Salvation Army continues almost daily,” Nicholas said.
Because of this work, she is encouraging the general public to support the cause.
“We come to the public now asking for assistance and to allow us to help those who are not so fortunate, especially in these trying times. We want to remind the public that the spending happens almost immediately. The money is spent as soon as it is collected and so we encourage all of Antigua and Barbuda to support the Salvation Army in its efforts,” Nicholas added.
Echoing her sentiments was Major Raymoncil Pierre, the Divisional Secretary of the Salvation Army.
“As our chairperson said, needs are always there and we try to assist as best as possible and I must say that our current leader is one that is very passionate when it comes to helping. Every day, we would come to the office and ask, you know, what can we do to help the people. We do help persons individually, we do help persons on a weekly basis, we have persons that we help on a monthly basis, depending on their needs. So, we are always in need of monetary assistance in order to help alleviate the burdens of others,” Pierre said.
Kettles will be stationed outside the Epicurean Fine Foods and Pharmacy, First Choice Supermarket, Shoul’s Toys Gifts and Hardwares, Perry Bay Supermarket, Shoul’s Chief Store, Chase Supermarket and Cost Pro.
The official launch is set to for 10am this Friday outside the Epicurean Fine Foods and Pharmacy on Friars Hill Road.