Salvation Army launches Christmas appeal

  • Spreading joy: Kelli Edwards, left, and Major Sandra Stokes (Photograph by Fiona McWhirter)

    Spreading joy: Kelli Edwards, left, and Major Sandra Stokes (Photograph by Fiona McWhirter)

  • Kelli Edwards, left, Major Dena Hepditch, Major Sandra Stokes, Calvin Ming, Beverly Daniels (Photograph by Fiona McWhirter)

    Kelli Edwards, left, Major Dena Hepditch, Major Sandra Stokes, Calvin Ming, Beverly Daniels (Photograph by Fiona McWhirter)

Hundreds of families will benefit as Bermudians “open their hearts” for a Christmas charity appeal.

The Salvation Army launched its festive donations drive yesterday and urged island residents to help spread joy.

The organisation’s festive work will include the distribution of toys and food hampers, fundraising and a Christmas dinner.

Major Sandra Stokes, the divisional commander for Bermuda, said: “The Salvation Army recognises the financial and emotional stress that the Christmas season can bring on families in need.

“Consequently, we offer a variety of services to help families and individuals make it through what we hope will be a joyous Christmas, after all, it is the very best time of the year and a time of joy.”

She added: “Toys are one of the joys of Christmas, especially for children but also for mums and dads as well as they are pleased to see the joy on the face of their children upon receiving such a toy, so we’re happy to be doing the Santa anonymous toy drive again this year.”

More than 800 children’s lives were brightened by the project last year and more information will be available in adverts running from November 9.

The festive kettle campaign will be launched with entertainment and Christmas cheer at Nellie’s Walk at Hamilton City Hall on November 29.

Individuals and businesses are encouraged to get involved with the fundraising drive and to become “bell ambassadors” and drum up donations from others.

A truck will be parked outside the Inter-Island Communications and Bermuda Industrial Union building on December 7 until noon where non-perishable goods like canned meat, soup, rice and pasta will be collected.

Beverly Daniels, the Salvation Army’s executive director of community services, said: “Don’t lose out, don’t be the person who says, ‘I wish I had’ and miss out on an opportunity of gifting someone else.

“There are other items that go into our hampers but these items help to fill the food hampers so we really would like to encourage you to donate non-perishable goods — those things that make up lunches — think about our seniors.

“Open your hearts and your cupboards and help us to fill that truck.”

Anyone who would like to register for a Christmas hamper should contact the Salvation Army Citadel in Hamilton’s North Street.

Registration will run all next month and distribution will take place at the Botanical Gardens on December 17 for seniors and December 19 for everyone else.

A special Christmas dinner for the less fortunate will be held on December 12.

Ms Daniels said: “We’re mindful of the fact that the Salvation Army can only do what it does because we partner with so many entities, churches, community groups, who come alongside us and assist us in our work and for that we are grateful.”

Kelli Edwards, the community and ministries worker at the North Street Citadel, said a lot of people struggled to make ends meet.

She added: “They just don’t have the extra income to have the Christmas dinner or toys for the kids so that’s where we come in and we make a big difference.”

Calvin Ming, the public relations and development director, said people should contact the Salvation Army if they know anyone who may need help.

He added: “I don’t care how much you don’t have, at Christmas time, when you see other children playing and having the toys that you want, let me tell you that it can really effect you.

“While we are not trying to teach materialism to children, we do want to have them in a good frame of mind so that they can be productive as children wherever they go, that is very critical to the self-esteem of young people.

“So our hearts are always with those persons that are marginalised, no matter how old they are or how young they are.”

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Published Oct 26, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 26, 2018 at 7:29 am)

Salvation Army launches Christmas appeal

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