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Public urged to back today’s 'GivingTuesday'

Myra Virgil, the managing director of Bermuda Community Foundation (File photograph)

An organisation set up to manage funds for charities yesterday appealed to the public to back an international movement to help the country’s most vulnerable people.

The Bermuda Community Foundation encouraged the public to mark GivingTuesday today with 75 other countries involved in the movement and continue to help those worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Myra Virgil, the managing director of BCL, said: “We all felt the effects of the months of Covid – impaired freedom of movement, no large gatherings, no travel, stress about health – but many of us have not suffered a material economic impact.

“Some of us are still gainfully employed – our income stream uninterrupted.”

GivingTuesday was started in 2012 in New York as a way for people to show kindness towards others and offer their time and resources to those in need.

It is held on the Tuesday after American Thanksgiving and this year will involve millions of people around the world.

Dr Virgil said that participation in the movement was important in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had worsened already present economic problems.

She added: “Bermuda embarked on 2020 in a challenging economy with massive debt and significant unemployment – and then came Covid-19.”

Dr Virgil said: “As in any community, our most vulnerable were always going to bear the brunt of the crisis which is why we set up the Emergency Fund for urgent needs.

“We did our utmost as a community to ensure that our neighbours were fed and sheltered – but the work is by no means over.”

She said people should donate time or resources to charities and other social programmes.

Smaller acts of kindness, such as offering assistance or kind words to strangers, were also recommended.

Dr Virgil said that the possibility of a second wave of the pandemic made the need for support even more important.

She added that the country had done a tremendous job earlier this year to rally around people who needed support and the effort had to continue.

Dr Virgil said: “It has been a tremendously heavy lift and ‘heart-warming’ doesn't even begin to describe how it feels to be part of a community that is so caring.”

She told the public: “As you plan your philanthropy for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, we ask that you consider continuing to raise the bar on your giving.

“There is no doubt that without you and your continuing support our island will be challenged.”

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Published December 01, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated November 30, 2020 at 7:29 pm)

Public urged to back today’s 'GivingTuesday'

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