The Salvation Army here has reported generous local support for its fundraising efforts during the Christmas season.
Captain Derrick Mitchell told the Times that he was very pleased with the ‘tremendous support’ from the people of Saint Lucia.
Mitchell explained that the kettle donations are doing very well.
The kettle drive started on November 11, 2016 and will end on December 24, 2016.
“We have made over twenty-five thousand dollars so far,” the Salvation Army head disclosed.
Mitchell told the Times that the donations are above average.
The Salvation Army official expressed confidence that the pledges received by the organization will result in a figure that is above what was received last year.
He said the organization has received donations of Christmas presents, toys for children, food for its Christmas hamper drive and clothing for the Salvation Army Thrift Store and Welfare Services.
Mitchell said the money raised will go towards buying food for Christmas hampers and supporting programmes run by his organization throughout the year.
The programmes include an emergency disaster service and providing hot meals to over 50 individuals in Castries from Monday to Friday.
Mitchell said the Salvation Army, in partnership with other charitable groups, is about to duplicate that programme in the South between Laborie and Vieux Fort.
“We want to start off initially with three days a week and move up to five days a week,” he told the Times.
Mitchell said with the assistance of Massy Stores, groceries are provided to needy families on a weekly basis.
“We also take care of fire victims and needy people in general,” he stated.
Mitchell said programmes for children are also provided through the Day Care facility.
Later this month, some 400 grocery hampers will be distributed to needy people in Castries.
Mitchell told the Times he is interested in helping donors to track the money they have given to support Salvation Army programmes.
He explained that the organization had its books audited by external auditors.
Mitchell disclosed plans to publish his organization’s figures to ensure a level of transparency.
“We are soliciting donations from the public and I believe the public has a right to know how their donated funds are being used,” he declared.