SOME good news for the less fortunate among us this Christmas as Sandals Resorts reaffirmed its support for the Salvation Army’s Christmas meal initiative.
The announcement was made at a press briefing at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort on Tuesday, December 1st. This is the 27th year that Sandals in Saint Lucia will be providing meals for the less fortunate at Christmas time, and while the company’s officials would usually serve the feast themselves, the COVID 19 pandemic has forced some changes this year, as explained by Sandals Saint Lucia Managing Director Winston Anderson.
“I want to start by saying that helping others, and especially in this time of crisis is not just a programme, it is who we are. We are here today to confirm our support for another initiative which is dear to our hearts, which is our support for the annual Salvation Army Christmas dinner. For many years we have joined with the Salvation Army to provide a hearty meal and some Christmas cheer for those less fortunate, and we will not allow the challenges brought about by the pandemic to prevent us from fulfilling this most important promise in 2020. Admittedly we will do things a bit differently this year, and instead of gathering together to serve the meals ourselves we will instead package 150 meals which will be collected by Major Derrick Mitchell and his team to be distributed.”
Representatives from the Salvation Army including Head of the Saint Lucia division Major Derrick Mitchell and Chairman of the Advisory Board Malcolm Burns commended the resort for its continued efforts to support its efforts to help those who cannot help themselves. According to Major Mitchell, Sandals has never failed to be there for the Salvation Army.
“Aside from their support for the Christmas dinner which Sandals has supported for 27 years, Sandals used to provide meals to feed over 40 persons every single day. Now with the new restrictions, they have helped renovate a kitchen we used to prepare the meals now ourselves. They have also helped renovate our school and computer lab. I have no doubt that they will always be there to support those in need.”
Sandals also contributed to the Salvation Army’s Kettle Drive which is done to raise funds to help the needy. Major Mitchell urged persons to support the drive, admitting that donations were down almost 50% this year compared with previous years. He said the proceeds will go to helping those registered on the list of needy persons.
“I am appealing to the good people of Saint Lucia that wherever you see a kettle, make a donation. The Salvation Army is one of the venerable institutions here in Saint Lucia, we were the first social organisation in the world and we have been consistently assisting people. We will be dropping off things at the various institutions. Then we are going to be doing a massive grocery hamper distribution and the bulk of it will be given out from the Salvation Army on High Street while some of it will be taken to the various districts all across Saint Lucia.”
Last week the Sandals Foundation joined with the Safe Spaces Organisation to provide computer tablets and school supplies to children in Wilton’s Yard, and will continue this drive to other schools and organisations.