No Salvation Army kettle will be left unattended

The chances of anyone nabbing a Salvation Army kettle will be slimmer this year says Divisional Business Manager Sherma Evelyn.

On two separate locations, in 2019 and 2021, two of the kettles which contained money were stolen; one from outside a Christ Church supermarket and the other from a mall in The City.

The annual Christmas Kettle and Letter Appeals, through which the Salvation Army received most of its funds, were launched last week in National Heroes Square, in The City where it was announced that this year’s target was $750 000.

In an interview with The Nation Evelyn said: “When the kettles were stolen last time, they were left unattended as the person moved away to go to the bathroom or lunch. No kettle will be left unattended. If [the person] is going to the bathroom and nobody is there, the person will put up the kettle; they wouldn’t leave it out.

“We’re not going to have two people [at one location] instead of one. We don’t have the personnel to do that. The kettles will be placed throughout the island. We have more this year, at three additional locations. In all, there are 47 locations across the island and the kettles will be there until the end of December”.

Paul Bernstein, Chairman of the Salvation Army’s Advisory Board said at the launch: “Our target this year is $750 000, and we hope with your generosity to exceed that amount. I am making a special appeal to the business community, especially the manufacturers and retailers, to please support this worthy cause and let me assure you once again that the Salvation Army uses 85 cents in every dollar received to provide direct services to the people in need. Eighty-five cents in every dollar goes towards a needy cause”.

He reminded the audience that funds from both the kettle and letter appeals “account for a substantial amount of our annual income which is absolutely essential for us to continue the work of the Salvation Army throughout the coming year”. He also provided an update on the assistance rendered to the most vulnerable people in the community for the first nine months of the year.

The chairman said “212 people received educational books, 100 families received assistance for back to school, 46 persons received furnishings, 1 870 persons received clothing, 5 300 families received food hampers, and 32 456 hot meals were served from the feeding centre and through our meals on wheels programme”.

Thanking individuals and business donors who supported them last year, Bernstein said he was looking forward to their “generous support” again this year as there was “a lot to do, and we need your support to do it”.

The first donation to the drive of $25 000 was made by Scotiabank. Its managing director Suzette Armoogam-Shah, who also spoke at the launch, said the financial institution “understands we’re an important part of the economic and social fabric of the community in which we operate”, and “readily support initiatives that aim to help and provide opportunities to people who rise, change their circumstance and to become better off”.

“As we come out of the pandemic, we recognize that many charities and community groups are still on the frontline helping to ensure vital supplies and support are given to those who are most in need and the Salvation Army provides hope to the individual and families who are dealing with food insecurity, homelessness, unemployment, and mental health challenges. And we are proud to be part of this worthy cause the Christmas Red Kettle Appeal for numerous years,” she said.

Armoogam-Shah lauded the Salvation Army for the “tremendous work” it has done and continues to do in caring for the most vulnerable people in society and implored everyone to donate as the funds raised at the Christmas kettles help provide “direct, compassionate, hands-on service to thousands of people each year”.

The Salvation Army intends to distribute “the usual” 4 000 Christmas food hampers to families in need plus give Christmas gifts to Children’s Homes, Senior Citizens’ homes, and to the less fortunate.  (GBM)

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