Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal launched
The Salvation Army launched its annual Red Shield Appeal on Friday.
Major Sandra Stokes, divisional leader of the Salvation Army, said it was aimed to raise $500,000 to finance programmes to help those in need.
She said it was hoped that much of the money would be raised through Tag Day on May 8 and through a letter appeal.
Last year the Salvation Army raised $356,740 in its Red Shield campaign, 143,260 below its $500,000 target.
Major Stokes said: “I just graciously and respectfully ask that you give what you can.
“If you can give to the Salvation Army, we pledge to you we will do our best with the funds that you entrust to us.”
She added that every dollar raised would be used to help people in Bermuda.
Red Shield Month is held in May in countries the Salvation Army operates and its main fundraiser to fund social and community services.
Major Stokes said the Salvation Army's mission to help people in need was dependent on community support.
She added: “It's recognising that the whole of Bermuda is our friend, our family members, our neighbours and if they come into hard times, as the Salvation Army we want to be there serving with hope and dignity and serving them with excellence.”
She said that the organisation worked to improve the emotional, physical and spiritual welfare of the people it served.
The Salvation Army provided support to more than 3,000 people in Bermuda in 2018. It also provided shelter, clothing and food for the homeless.
More than 600 people were fed each week and families were given with food hampers at Christmas.
It also provided nutrition workshops, budget planning, counselling and other support to prepare clients for an independent future.
The Salvation Army also runs Harbour Light, a ten-bed residential treatment facility for men with addiction problems.
The organisation also provides disaster relief services and has beds for 35 people at its emergency shelter.
Major Stokes said: “We provide individuals with a bed to sleep in as well as breakfast in the morning.”
Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, said the Government was working with Major Stokes and her team to create a better relationship.
Colonel Burch added: “To be brutally honest, successive governments have not always held up their end of the bargain in the physical support or funding.
“That is about to change as we believe that this partnership must be one between the people of Bermuda and the Salvation Army, one that exists regardless of which political party forms the Government”
He said he expected to reveal details of the new deal “in the not so distant future.”