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Drive-through festive giveaway will benefit hundreds of seniors

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Santa’s little helpers! Santa Claus made an appearance at the Annual Senior's Party hosted by Carol Clarke, in collaboration with Bermuda Overseas Missions, in 2020, held at Clarke’s Tuxedo Shop, 100 North Shore Road, Pembroke (File photograph).

More than 500 seniors will receive gifts this weekend as part of the 22nd annual Seniors’ Appreciation Day.

The event, run by Carol Clarke, in partnership with the Bermuda Overseas Missions, will be held as a drive-through for the second year running due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Ms Clarke, who owns Clarke’s Tuxedo Shop oat 100 North Shore Road, Pembroke, hosts the event in the yard of her nearby residence which she will decorate with a festive flair.

She said there will be an appearance from Santa who will be accompanied by a special guest.

Ms Clarke said she had noticed a greater need in the community this year.

“There has been a higher demand – everywhere I go people are coming up to me asking, ‘Carol are you having it?’.

“People can’t get out to go anywhere and I know the seniors are suffering financially. I have suffered too but I live off of blessings.”

The event has been supported by numerous sponsors including AON Bermuda, Deloitte Bermuda and The Argus Group.

Santa’s helpers: Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, centre, is shown with Pamela Trott and Josie Outerbridge, at the annual Senior's Party hosted by Carol Clarke, in collaboration with Bermuda Overseas Missions, last year. The Senior’s Party adjusted to social distancing and was transformed into a drive through to meet the need for over 500 seniors safely (File photograph)

All recipients have signed up and their gift bags will include toiletries such as sponges, soaps and toothbrushes while the ladies will receive a special surprise.

In 2011, Ms Clarke received the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour Award for "giving selfless service to the community and to seniors in particular, over many years“.

Aside from the seniors giveaway, she cooks every day feeding more than 100 people a week.

She said her family had set a good example for her.

Advocate for seniors: Carol Clarke (File photograph)

Ms Clarke, who has been the pianist at Bethel AME Church in Flatts for 40 years, said that after her father, Randal Bradford, died in 1983, she dedicated her time to giving back to seniors.

She said her grandfather, Reverend Austin Richardson, was responsible for building several AME churches around the island.

Her mother, Dr Faith Burgess-Clarke, who died in March of this year told her daughter to make sure she fed those in need like she would want to be fed herself, adding, “don’t give them no slop”.

Ms Clarke recently received a letter of appreciation from Ruth Thomas MBE, educator and cultural advocate, that read: “Thank you for all your efforts invested in helping to enrich and nourish the lives of so many people – you have been doing this for many years.

“May God’s blessing continue to fall on you and always remember the following: ‘Kindness is a language which the deaf man can hear and the blind man can read’ and ’Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.’

“These quotes are from Mark Twain and Rosa Parks – the first one speaks to the value of your unlimited kindness and the second one should remind you that you have not laboured in vain.”

Ms Clarke said she wishes to set an example for generations to come. The event will be held tomorrow, December 4, on her Pembroke property.

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Published December 03, 2021 at 7:53 am (Updated December 03, 2021 at 7:41 am)

Drive-through festive giveaway will benefit hundreds of seniors

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