Three local charities were recently presented with cheques of $8,000 each in the first quarterly distribution of funds raised under the “You Can Help!” campaign. The handover was executed by H.E. Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General and Patron of the Halo Foundation and Hon. Paul Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade. The beneficiary non-profit organisations are the Sunshine Home for Girls, The Ex-Servicemen’s Association and the St. Vincent de Paul Society (Holy Family Conference). The funds raised will be used to assist in covering the major expenses of these charities, as they struggle to meet operational costs.
The special project was launched by the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission (London), with the purpose of engaging the diaspora and friends of Antigua and Barbuda in Europe to aid charities likely to be heavily impacted by reduced donor contributions in light of COVID-19. The project is supported by the Halo Foundation Inc., and the Caucus of Antigua and Barbuda Ambassadors and Honorary Consuls in Europe.
The campaign commenced approximately 10 weeks ago and to date, approximately £20,000 has been raised from a £145,000 target. According to Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner in the UK, H.E. Karen-Mae Hill, “We are extremely pleased that our Ambassadors in Greece and Spain and our Honorary Consuls in Bulgaria, Bavaria and Russia, have all agreed to unite around this cause as one of the projects the Caucus will support. I wish to thank Ambassador Dario Item, Ambassador Jihad Aoun, and Honorary Consuls Wolfgang Altmueller, Professor Dr. Ivan Todorov and Julien Hansen. The project also benefits from the proven experience and generous support of H.E. Lady Williams and the Halo Foundation, Inc. in its conception and delivery.”
Public Relations Officer for the Ex-Servicemen’s Association, Paul Quinn, commented: “We would like to express our gratitude to the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission and the Halo Foundation for this effort to support the needy and vulnerable in Antigua and Barbuda, and we are happy to be chosen as one of the recipients. The donation will go towards assisting Ex-Servicemen and the widows of those who have passed.”
Administrator of the Salvation Army Sunshine Home for Girls, Major Barbara Forrester said: “Debts of gratitude are never paid — they are merely acknowledged. We are extremely thankful for your continuous interest and donations. You make us feel special and blessed. Thanks for following through with your promise. We do appreciate your efforts, especially in a time like this. The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the world’s economy. We know that it is a great sacrifice to generate funds, but I want to assure you that this money will go a long way in helping with our financial situation.”
To donate, visit https://foundationhalo.org/you-can-help-covid-19-charitable-fundraiser/, or contact the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission in London (E-mail: HighCommission@antigua-barbuda.com).
(L-R) H.E. Sir Rodney Williams; Mr. Pagget Messiah (Chairman) and Mr. Johnson Browne (President) of the Ex-Servicemen’s Association, and Hon. Paul Chet Green
H.E. Sir Rodney Williams (left)and Hon. Paul Chet Green (right) with Major Barbara Forrester, Administrator of the Salvation Army Sunshine Home for Girls
H.E. Sir Rodney Williams (left) and Hon. Paul Chet Green (right) with Lilian Hynes, President of the SSVP Holy Family Conference