By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
On Friday the Salvation Army officially launched its annual Christmas Kettle fundraiser, despite heavy rains, in front of the Battlefield Park on Albert Street.
To commemorate the launch, the Salvation Army Band and the Wesley College Band serenaded passersby with Christmas Carols. Regional Commander of the Salvation Army, Major Joliker Leandre also addressed the attendees.
Leandre explained that the initiative is used to support the Army’s humanitarian activities throughout the year, but it still has a special purpose on Christmas.
“We know that many people lack the finances to be able to afford some of the things we enjoy on Christmas, so this is a way of ensuring that everyone has a smile on their face, no matter their situation”, Leandre said.
Also addressing the crowd was Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, who emphasised that the Salvation Army has been a blessing to the community, Belize City especially, and that he encourages all citizens to give what they can in support.
Corporate sponsors, The Belize Bank, and the Social Security Board, also attended the event, presenting donations of $5,000 each. Communications officer for the SSB Gayle Ozaeta, said that the SSB will go one step further this Christmas season to assist the Salvation Army in a charity luncheon it will hold for needy children later this month.
The Salvation Army is a movement which began in London England in 1865, by William and Catherine Booth. It began its work in Belize, then British Honduras, in 1915.
The Salvation Army has five churches, two in Belize City and the others in Hattieville, Georgeville, and San Ignacio. They also run a primary school, feeding programs, a homeless shelter, a thrift shop and provide welfare services on a daily basis.