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EDITORIAL: Duty to help those in need

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

EDITORIAL: Duty to help those in need

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We are our brother’s keeper.
Cliché, yes, but in today’s world, especially right here in Barbados, this proves not only a daily mantra but also a necessary one which would serve each one of us well to follow.
There is no doubt about the pain and suffering some are going through because of these harsh economic times. Equally, as a result, it is reasonable to state that there are many out there who need help every day with some of the most basic necessities like food and shelter.
It is therefore heartening when we see local service clubs putting their money where their mouths are to help those in need and the less fortunate.
With the reopening of the school term in just a matter of weeks, there are many parents who need some assistance with school supplies like books, uniforms and shoes. The intervention by clubs like the Kiwanis, Lions and Optimists who have heeded the call and are providing vouchers and hampers must be lauded.
The act of giving must not be viewed as a new phenomenon on the part of organisations as many have been fulfilling their charitable mandate for years. However, given the current financial climate, there is no doubt that they are being stretched and are giving more than they have been in recent past.
Therefore, the spirit of volunteerism must spread further and more of corporate Barbados needs to see it as their bounden duty to fill in the gaps and help out where there is a need.
It was alarming to hear that the vouchers being distributed by these clubs were just a “tip of the charity iceberg”. It begs the question as to how many out there are slipping through the cracks and perhaps not getting the assistance they need, especially when it comes to taking care of their offspring and even putting food on the table.
Times are indeed hard but we all need to make sure that we bring each other along. That is exactly why the efforts of the Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society, led by young Kemar Saffrey, must also be commended.
As this group attempts to determine the number of homeless people across Barbados, its mission is to go into the communities to reach those in need.
The acts of volunteerism from young people, including university graduates, must also be encouraged so that more can get on board.
In these days when there is so much negativity, it is important to accentuate the positive and celebrate these acts of kindness.
We all need to keep giving. There is no greater gift.