With Hurricane Dorian having displaced thousands of people from the northern Bahamas, the Salvation Army of The Bahamas said need for assistance has increased 10-fold.
Major Clarence Ingram said yesterday that while demand has remained high, donations have decreased since the immediate aftermath of the storm. He asked Bahamians to give a little more wherever they can to help make up that difference.
“Initially, the funds that were donated specifically for Hurricane Dorian relief were able to meet those needs, but as we move further away from the event, the need hasn’t stopped, but certainly the amount of donations have definitely
decreased quite a bit,” he said.
He added, “I think what we need is people to give just a little bit more.
“If you’re putting in a dollar or two, maybe a five would make all the difference in the world to us. It doesn’t take a huge amount when you have a lot of people giving a little something. So if you just up it just a little bit by $2 or $3 or $5 or $10, that would make all the difference in the world to us.”
The bell ringing program is one of the Salvation Army’s primary annual fundraisers.
Their bell ringers are a staple outside banks, supermarkets and local businesses.
According to community relations associate at the Salvation Army Melanese Coakley, this year they are stationed at 30 locations manned by volunteers that include members of civil organizations to ordinary citizens.
The donations support the Salvation Army’s Christmas family assistance programs, year-round assistance for low-income families and individuals, food pantries, the school for the blind, as well as homeless and senior assistance programs.
Coakley said those who choose to volunteer their time are just as important as those giving funds.
“Most of the spots are manned by volunteers,” she said. “We have over 30 locations across New Providence, and so we hope to get to the goal where 100 percent are manned on certain days.
“We get close some days, but on others we are not so close to that mark, but we understand we’re not the only organization doing some type of fundraiser during this time of year. But we appreciate the two or three hours that they put in to stand behind that kettle and ring the bell, as we couldn’t do it on our own.”