Salvation Army launches fundraising drive for Christmas hampers and local projects
The Salvation Army today launched its annual Red Kettle drive to raise money for both Christmas hampers and year-round programmes.
Major Robert Kerr said volunteers will be out across the island collecting donations this month as part of the charity’s Christmas campaign.
Mr Kerr said: “It’s a time when we come out to the public and ask them to support us as we help people at Christmas, but the money is also used throughout the year to help us fund our community-based programmes.
“It has been around for about 130 years and it is one of our biggest fundraisers across the world.
“In Bermuda, we depend greatly on the community to do the services we do, and this is one of the ways that we get back to Bermuda to ask them to help us out.”
He added: “We work towards helping people with their immediate needs, but we also look to how we can help them find a better tomorrow.
“The money is very local, very community based, and the more money we raise the more we can do those things.”
Mr Kerr said that the demand for services has risen in the wake of Covid-19, and the Salvation Army expects more people to sign up for help this Christmas than last.
“Last year we helped more than 4,000 people at Christmas with food hampers, but we expect that number to go up.
“We helped give toys to 655 children last Christmas, and we expect those numbers to go up as well.
“Registration has just started so we are just getting those numbers now so we can know what the demand will be.”
He said that while the campaign is island-wide, the money raised in the Red Kettle drive goes towards the community in which it was donated, with each location having its own fundraising goal.
Mr Kerr said: “When you drop money in the kettle in St George’s, it goes to the programmes at the Salvation Army in St George’s, and when you drop money in the kettle near Somerset it helps the programmes near Somerset.
“It is very localised.”
Mr Kerr said that shortly after the campaign formally launched this afternoon, he went to the Hamilton MarketPlace for a two-hour shift and was happy to see the outpouring of support.
He said: “People are very generous, very kind.
“We are so appreciative of the trust people have in the Salvation Army – we know that it is a trust that is earned, we don’t take that lightly, and we know it is a trust that can be lost.
“We take very seriously the trust people give when they donate, but people are very kind, very generous and we are looking forward to a great year in Bermuda.”