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Passion for pink

Volunteers Nicole St. Marie and Jacqueline Boyce assist a shopper with her pink ribbon at JB’s Supermarket.

CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank’s commitment to the fight against cancer continued when a number of employees volunteered with the Breast Screening Programme of the Barbados Cancer Society’s Pink Ribbon Week at supermarkets across the island last weekend.

Employees from various departments in the bank assembled at JB’s Supermarket, Trimart, and Pricesmart from as early as 8:30 a.m. to collect donations for the Breast Screening Programme, distribute and pin pink ribbons on donors, as well as provide a listening ear for those whose lives had been touched by the disease.

Michael Coward, who works in Helpdesk and Incident Management and was the lone male volunteer, said the response to the drive was overwhelming.

“I would say that most of the people passing stopped of their own accord, and generously donated. All I had to do was stand there, thank them, and pin the ribbons on them.”

He added: “I was pleased with the general awareness that persons exhibited. This proves that the Breast Screening Programme is reaching persons. I was also really touched by the many who took time to speak with me about their own experiences and without any prompting whatsoever on my part. Some persons became emotional, which was really moving. I am so willing to do this again whenever called upon.”

Customer Service Representative, Deloris Jack, who was stationed at Trimart, said she decided to give up part of her day because of the nature of the cause.

“I have an urge to partake in any event which is a worthy cause. I also thought it was important for me to do so since I could become a victim of this illness at any given time.”

Coward said he gave of his time to the drive because of the physical, emotional and financial impact that cancer has on so many Barbadians.

“In any case, I have a wife, daughter, mother, sisters, other family and friends who are female; so their education on the topic is important to me, as well. I also had a niece who died as a result of the disease. I suppose, in some respects that has also served as a motivator for me to get involved.”

Another volunteer from the bank, Tamesha Goddard, agreed.

“There are so many people, men and women, out in the world battling with breast cancer and there isn’t anything much I can offer them in terms of a cure or finances, but whatever time I may have to help in raising funds or showing some support, I’ll give.”

She noted that though the response from some of the shoppers was not all positive, “The majority of them gave their donations wholeheartedly even those who had contributed at another location.”

The bank recently hosted its inaugural CIBC FirstCaribbean walk in which some 2,300 employees, friends and family supported the fight against cancer across the 17 territories in which the bank operates. Chief Executive Officer, Rik Parkhill said then that the walk was an integral part of the bank’s continuing commitment to be engaged with the real issues facing its clients and their communities. He added that the walk also demonstrated that the bank’s commitment to the Caribbean was about more than handing over a donation.

Pink Ribbon Week ran from October 1 to 6.

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