Salvation Army starts massive Christmas fund
Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
AN INCREASE in the number of persons falling in the category of the less fortunate, has inspired members of the Salvation Army's Christmas Kettle in collaboration with the Bank of Nova Scotia, to begin their drive, to raise $15 million to assist more than 15,000 families during the upcoming Christmas season.
Speaking with The Gleaner following the Christmas Kettle's launch that was held at the Scotiabank Centre in downtown Kingston, Major Darrell Wilkinson, Divisional Commander for the eastern division pointed out that Jamaica continues to outshine other Caribbean countries in their willingness to give. He also took the time to express gratitude to Scotiabank who donated $1 million at the function.
"Even though the economy is tight, we still find that people who will go the extra mile to give to the needy. I'm not talking from the top of my head because I have travelled to different Caribbean countries and Jamaica stands out in terms of charity and we are grateful," he declared.
"People give more and more every year and we are confident that Jamaicans will come on board," Wilkinson told The Gleaner.
He also noted that the agency took the initiative to increase the target to $15 million up from $12 million last year, in order to assist more persons. This fund he said, will be used in the parishes of Manchester, St Mary, Portland, Kingston among other eastern parishes.
President and chief executive officer at the Scotia Bank, Jacqueline Sharpe, said that it is imperative that persons give back as persons continue to sink in poverty.
"We live in a difficult economy and as difficult as it may seem for us, there are so many persons living on the edge of poverty. It is for us to look beyond ourselves and reach out to others whose circumstances are worse than ours.
"Dig deep so that someone less fortunate can enjoy the Christmas season as well. While we may not know them or reach them, the Salvation army can and we must do our part to support their efforts," she charged.