In light of the difficult economic climate, the Kiwanis Club of Bridgetown’s Silver Dollars For Children Charity is seeking to raise an ambitious $250,000 this year, more than double the target set two years ago.
While there was no Silver Dollars drive last year, in 2012 organizers of the event raised about $62,000 or more than half the targeted $100,000.
The money raised from the drive will be donated to eight of the island’s charities to assist children.
Given the shortfall in 2012 and a shortage of manpower, organizers last year decided they would not raise funds but spent the time reviewing the programme and making changes. Chief among the adjustments was a one-day drive in Bridgetown on a Saturday instead of a Sunday, as well as a change in the location.
“We have changed it from September to Child Month and from here onwards Silver Dollars will be the first Saturday in May,” said Jennifer Hinkson, chairperson of the Silver Dollars For Children. And we have moved to Heroes Square and Jubilee Gardens [from Independence Square] . . . and we will try to cover the whole of Broad Street on that Saturday,” she said, adding that there would be closer collaboration between all the stakeholders involved.
Hinkson made the comments on Friday during the official launch of the event at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort.
While the first event will be a collection at the Gold Cup on Saturday, March 8, the organizers received a headstart of $10,000 from Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited during the launch.
Other events include a supermarket collection on March 22 and 29, a new addition of a motorcade through the north of the island on Saturday, April 12, as well as a week of collection across the island’s schools. The theme for this year is One $ Helping Many Children.
“After eight years of doing the same thing, sometimes you have to make a change; and we looked at it carefully and we decided to rebrand somewhat and make some changes to Silver Dollars. I know it is hard economic times, but we are confident that we can raise in excess of $250,000,” said Hinkson.
Past-president of the Kiwanis Club of Bridgetown, Joseph Dolphin, said the review of the programme was as a result of “the reduction in the revenues collected” over the past eight years.
The annual event has raked in a total of over $600,000 to assist children in the various charities so far.