It’s that time again!

Christ­mas Ket­tle drive launched down­town

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE -

THERE WAS some sur­prise yes­ter­day as none other than Mary and Joseph ap­peared at the Sco­tia­bank Cen­tre in down­town Kingston to give their do­na­tions at the launch of the Sal­va­tion Army Christ­mas Ket­tle drive. Hun­dreds, who had turned out and had been ear­lier en­ter­tained with Christ­mas car­ols, watched as Mary joined Wayne Pow­ell, Sco­tia­bank’s vice-pres­i­dent of re­tail de­liv­ery, to drop a con­tri­bu­tion into the spe­cially dec­o­rated Christ­mas Ket­tle.

The Sal­va­tion Army Christ­mas Ket­tle cam­paign runs straight through the sea­son un­til Christ­mas Eve, with cheer­ful, bell-ring­ing vol­un­teers so­lic­it­ing do­na­tions across the is­land. The theme of this year’s ac­tiv­i­ties is ‘Give And Light Up A Life’. Sco­tia­bank started the drive with a do­na­tion of $1 mil­lion, fol­lowed by Gary Hen­drick­son, who pre­sented $500,000 on be­half of the Na­tional Bak­ing Com­pany.

“We are hop­ing to make over $14 mil­lion this year,” said Dar­rell Wilkin­son, di­vi­sional com­man­der for the eastern di­vi­sion of the Sal­va­tion Army. “Last year, we fell be­low the tar­get and brought in just over $12 mil­lion”. Ac­cord­ing to Wilkin­son, the greater the sup­port, the more per­sons the Sal­va­tion Army is able to as­sist. “When we help per­sons, it changes their per­spec­tive and makes life more mean­ing­ful,” he said. He en­cour­aged Ja­maicans to make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of less for­tu­nate in­di­vid­u­als by con­tribut­ing to the ket­tles when they see them.

The money col­lected in the red ket­tles will go pri­mar­ily to­wards sup­port­ing the Sal­va­tion Army’s Christ­mas pro­grammes. Pack­ages, in­clud­ing rice, su­gar, flour, corn­meal, corned beef, bis­cuits, co­conut oil, and others for house care and hy­giene, are dis­trib­uted across the is­land. The Sal­va­tion Army will also take the time to bring cheer to a num­ber of in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing hos­pi­tals, chil­dren’s homes and pris­ons.

A num­ber of out­stand­ing school and cor­po­rate choirs were on hand to of­fi­cially launch the drive yes­ter­day, sing­ing a range of well-known Christ­mas songs.

Sco­tia­bank has been as­sist­ing the Sal­va­tion Army fi­nan­cially and oth­er­wise since 2001. Most re­cently, the bank helped to raise aware­ness and funds to­wards as­sist­ing those af­fected by Hur­ri­cane Matthew in Haiti. The bank con­trib­uted CAD$50,000 to­wards the cause and es­tab­lished an ac­count that to date has amassed $2.5 mil­lion from the pub­lic.

We are hop­ing to make over $14 mil­lion this year ... . Last year, we fell be­low the tar­get and brought in just over $12 mil­lion.

RU­DOLPH BROWN/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Com­mis­sioner Ger­rit Mar­seille (sec­ond left), ter­ri­to­rial com­man­der for the Caribbean Sal­va­tion Army, looks on as Sco­tia­bank’s Wayne Pow­ell (left) drops a cheque val­ued at $1 mil­lion into the Christ­mas Ket­tle. Mean­while, Ke­moya Ma­son (dressed as Mary) and Dane McLean (Joseph) wait to make their do­na­tions. The oc­ca­sion was the launch of the Sal­va­tion Army’s 2016 Christ­mas Ket­tle Ap­peal, held at the Sco­tia­bank Cen­tre, down­town Kingston, yes­ter­day.

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