Demands on charity rising
economic situation making it hard for families in need
An increasing number of Barbadians who have fallen on hard times are turning to charitable organizations for assistance to get their children ready for the new school year next month.
Several of these charities have also reported that families’ needs were also growing, placing pressure on the groups to satisfy the demand.
Fiona Weekes of the National HIV/AIDS Commission said the economic situation was making it hard for families in need.
“Sometimes we have clients who can assist themselves to some degree and we assist in little ways, but now because of the economic situation they are asking for greater assistance,” Weekes said.
She spoke this morning at a ceremony at which department store Cave Shepherd donated materials and accessories, including belting and ribbons to the Salvation Army, the Progressive Optimist Club and the HIV/AIDS Commission through the Child Care Board, to assist with back-to-school needs.
Weekes noted that while requests have increased, they were not overwhelming, and appealed to the public to contribute throughout the year and not wait for special occasions.
Brand manager of Duty Free Caribbean Kay Richards told Barbados TODAY she was aware of the increasing requests for help. Duty Free Caribbean is a Cave Shepherd associate company.
“There is a growing need more and more each week and each day of persons who are less fortunate – and I know that they might not approach Cave Shepherd directly – but they would approach the Salvation Army for instance, or the Child Care Board to receive that help. So we basically are assisting those organizations to assist those persons,” Richards said.
Last year the Salvation Army assisted 75 families in need, but public relations officer Major Denzil Walcott told Barbados TODAY the church was seeking to help even more families this year.
“This time of the year there is a great need in Barbados. In fact, not just for school uniforms but for food and other things as well. So a lot of people will be coming to us . . . Ever since school closed we have been getting calls,” he said.
Meantime, Paula Manning of the Progressive Optimist Club said she was concerned that a number of people who needed help refused to ask because of pride.
“There is a great need in the island and I am very happy that we can do what we can to help fulfill it. Corporate Barbados has been generous and it helps to build hope to know that there is someone who will be there to assist,” Manning said.