Charities get cash windfall from supermarket chain
A supermarket chain’s customers and a bank have donated almost $60,000 to two charities thanks to the kindness of customers.
The MarketPlace and Clarien Bank gave $28,853 each to the Salvation Army and the St Vincent de Paul Society as part of its round-up campaign last month.
Seth Stutzman, the chief executive officer of the MarketPlace chain, said: “I would like to thank our customers for the enormous generosity that they put forward.
“With the partnership of Clarien Bank, we’ve been able to raise an amazing amount of money that we’re able to give to people who are in need.”
The campaign encouraged customers to round up their bills to the nearest dollar, with the extra cash going to charity.
Clarien Bank pledged to match the donations that MarketPlace pulled in.
Mr Stutzman said that he was pleased to see the “substantial amount” raised, which totalled about $57,705.
He added: “Our customers are the unsung heroes through all this because they were the ones who rounded up their purchases to the nearest dollar.
“It’s amazing to see that, in just over one month, the community was able to pull together almost $60,000.”
Major Rob Kerr, the divisional commander of the Salvation Army, thanked MarketPlace and Clarien “on behalf of the people of Bermuda that the Salvation Army serves on a regular basis”.
He said: “This demonstrates how a community can come together and help people in need in the community.”
Major Kerr explained that, since the start of the pandemic, the charity had helped feed 12,550 people and handed out about 28,000 free meals.
He added that the donation would assist the Salvation Army’s work for “many, many days to come”, particularly as Christmas approached.
Major Kerr said: “We are beyond grateful to the MarketPlace for their leadership in this effort and to Clarien Bank for their support.
“They have created an opportunity for many people to give and together they have done something great.
“Thank you for helping us help others.”
Joe Amaral, the vice-president of the St Vincent de Paul Society, a charity linked to the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton, said that the cash would be a great help.
He added that the SVDP ran a feeding programme every Sunday that attracted up to 120 people.
Mr Amaral added that the charity also helped families with power and food bills, as well as medical bills.
The charity also has a Christmas voucher programme where they spend about $40,000 on grocery vouchers for families in need.
Its 100 volunteers also help out at the Women’s Resource Centre and in the Prison Fellowship Programme.
Mr Amaral said: The past 18 months have been really tough on many families and these monies will enable us to continue our efforts supporting those in need.
“A heartfelt thanks to The MarketPlace staff and Clarien Bank for making this effort possible.”
Simon Van de Weg, the chief banking officer for Clarien Bank, said: “Clarien is pleased to be able to support the MarketPlace with its round-up charitable promotion.
“The dollars raised show a deep commitment from our community to help those in need during these challenging times.”