'Every little counts' - Scotia head encourages all Jamaicans to drop in red kettles
Lamenting that many Jamaicans still can't meet the basic needs of life, a harsh reality, particularly at Christmas, Chief Executive Officer of Scotia Group Jamaica (SGJ) David Noel has encouraged all citizens to contribute to the Salvation Army's Christmas Kettle campaign, aimed at raising $15 million for the benefit of the underprivileged.
Noel made the call as SGJ, for the 17th year running, joined with the Salvation Army as it launched its annual fundraising activity for the festive season at the Scotia Centre in Kingston yesterday.
In keeping with tradition, SGJ made the first contribution of $1 million, which was quickly supplemented as the scores of well-wishers in attendance added to the kettle.
The funds will be used to assist more than 20,000 Jamaicans islandwide with personal-care products, Christmas food hampers, cooked meals, and other provisions.
"Christmas is a time of joy and getting together with family and friends, but it is also time for us to remember the less fortunate. There are lots of people who still, on Christmas Day, don't have a proper meal or shelter, and the Salvation Army is raising money, through its Kettle Appeal, to help meet some of those needs," Noel said.
"So I encourage everyone across Jamaica, whenever and wherever you see that red kettle, please give something because it is going to a very worthy cause. Once you are able to give, give. Every little counts in meeting this $15 million target," he told The Gleaner.
Noel further encouraged Jamaicans to take the usually warm and cordial Christmas spirit into the New Year for the betterment of the country.
Divisional Commander for the Salvation Army Eastern Jamaica Division, Major Oral Morris, heaped praises on SGJ but also expressed appreciation for the donations of other corporate entities and individuals who lend support throughout the year.
Morris pointed out that having achieved just under the $16 million target last year, the organisation hosted a number of activities, including a treat for senior citizens, shopping trips, and parties for children and children's homes. In addition, through partnership with the Territorial and International Headquarters, the division was able to renovate the Nest Children's Home at a cost of $5.5 million.
This year's Christmas Kettle Drive runs from November 9 to December 24. Salvation Army officers, with their bright red kettles and clanging bells, will be outside many business places encouraging donations.