PRESS RELEASE – AN impressive report on the outcome of the 2017 Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Appeal was presented during the launch of the 2018 drive on Thursday November 1st.
The Salvation Army unveiled real impacts in Saint Lucia and Dominica. One Thousand and twenty Saint Lucian families received grocery baskets, over one thousand children from rural communities island-wide received at least one toy, and several families from the Kalinago, Campbell and Layou districts in Dominica received timely assistance with bedding, utensils and repairs to their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
According to Mr. Malcolm Burns, chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, the delivery of over 1000 toys to rural children last year exceeded the set target of 300. Based on these trends, a target of 700 has been set for 2018. However, it is likely that the final disbursement will match or exceed last year’s final numbers, Mr. Burns said, adding that “fortunately, with CIBC FirstCaribbean’s partnership, we are able to launch earlier, and therefore attract the level of public and corporate support that enables us to do more”.
Head of the Salvation Army in Saint Lucia Major Derrick Mitchel varied the theme of the popular Christmas song “Do you see what I see” and called on the community to see more than the glitter and tinsel in their homes at Christmas. “We see what we choose to see, so choose to also see the homeless, the hungry and those whose hope is dimming by the day”. These persons are often “not living off the beaten track of our lives, but are just on the other side of the street or just across town”, he implored.
The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Appeal raises funds towards the collection, purchasing and packaging of food baskets, toys and clothing to share with families. It is supported by the commercial sector, with CIBC FirstCaribbean as a partner and corporate champion. The Department of Equity, Social Justice & Empowerment works with the Salvation Army to identify families and children who qualify to benefit from the annual Christmas Kettle Drive.
In November 2017, the Salvation Army designated the title of Patron of Kettle Appeal on CIBC FirstCaribbean’s County Manager Mrs Ladesa James-Williams, whose relationship with the organisation goes back to her childhood in her native country of Antigua.
In declaring the 2018 Kettle Appeal open, Mrs James- Williams started the pledging with $5000 on behalf of the bank. She called on staff and on corporate Saint Lucia to “give first”, the mantra used by her mother to remind herself and her siblings “that the true meaning and blessing of Christmas is in the sharing and the caring, especially for those who are in need”.
Mrs James-Williams reported that testimony of the bank’s continuing commitment to the Salvation Army after a century of partnership is evident in the attendance bank’s former CEO Mr Gary Brown at the launch of the 2018 Kettle Drive in Barbados. Notwithstanding his recent retirement, the former CEO’s presence reflects the “family like bond which characterises the Salvation Army CIBC FirstCaribbean relationship” Mrs Williams said, adding that the bank is “extremely proud of the unparalleled social impact that the Salvation Army continues to have on communities where they operate.
The event was also attended by representatives of other corporate supporters of the Kettle Appeal, with musical entertainment supplied by the Monchy Youth Orchestra. At the end of the evening the tally in the Red Kettle was at $7500, which included a $2000 contribution from the Department of Equity, Social Justice & Empowerment and personal contributions from attending guests.
The kettle drive will continue until December 24th 2018. Those wishing to support or volunteer with the Salvation Army may contact Major Derrick Mitchel, Commanding Officer of the Salvation Army at 452-3108, [email protected] or at their office on 12-14 High Street Castries.