$120 000 drive
The Kiwanis Silver Dollar drive for children is hoping to raise $120 000 this year for its eight charities.
For the last six years, the drive, which seeks to raise money for various charities, has seen those in the communities, schools, churches and other corporate organisations coming out to donate to the needy organisations.
Yesterday, Independence Square in Bridgetown was encircled by hundreds of silver dollars put down by Kiwanis members, children of the Al-Falal School, specially invited guests and those who just came out to be part of the event.
Yvonne Spencer, director/co-founder of the Caribbean Dyslexia Centre, said this year the aim was to raise $15 000 for each charity. Last year the drive managed $10 000 for each.
“More and more people are getting to understand what the drive is about; and we’re very grateful for all the proceeds, because the money goes towards various uses. Sometimes it’s for transportation costs to get children from point A to point B. Sometimes it’s to help those parents who have children with cancer.
“It helps organisations with purchasing equipment, and much more; so every dollar counts,” Spencer said.
Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, who spoke on behalf of Prime Minister David Thompson and his family, patrons of the event, urged corporate Barbados to come forward.
She said that although yesterday was the “public event”, organisations still had until the end of October to make their donations.
“There is still time for many more corporate companies and individuals to join in making a contribution to Silver Dollars for the children,” she added.
Byer-Suckoo noted the level of excitement was heightened this year by schoolchildren who had obtained stickers with the different characters representative of the various charities.
Corporate communications specialist of the Barbados National Bank (BNB), Debbie Stoute, spoke of the friendship the Kiwanis Club had ignited with the bank six years ago. The BNB has been a main partner with the Kiwanis since the inception of the drive.
Stoute said that by joining the Kiwanis on the drive the bank had been afforded the “most humbling honour” of allowing it to “positively impact the life of a child”.
“We are committed to enriching the lives of those in need at the national level and in every community in which we do business,” Stoute stated.
Digicel was one of the first companies to make a donation yesterday morning. And although marketing executive Marquita Sugrim did not want to reveal the amount, she did say it was “sizeable”.
“This morning is just an extension of what we have been doing for children,” she added, “because we also see this as part of our economic outreach programme; and we’re happy to be contributing to this worthwhile venture.”