BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, December 25, 2022 (MMS-SKN) — Under the theme ‘Be champions of hope’ the Salvation Army Church in St. Kitts on Friday December 23 distributed 175 Christmas food hampers to the needy, in a tradition that runs in the Salvation Army churches worldwide since 1891 when the kettle or bell ringing ceremony was started by a Captain in the USA.
“Salvation Army, in 1891, started the first kettle or bell ringing in the USA,” explained Commanding Officer, Major Roxroy Campbell, at the food hampers distribution ceremony held at the church on Cayon Street in Basseterre. “The Captain was able to do Christmas dinner for many poor persons at that time.”
According to Commanding Officer Pastor Campbell, that idea went around the world wherever the Salvation Army operates in 123 countries. He added that locally the Salvation Army has been seeking to do that appeal to the public whereby from the little that they have, God has been able to bless the rest of the world.
“Our Christmas Appeal was launched by Pastor Leroy Benjamin, on the 19th of November, 2022,” said Pastor Campbell. “Pastor Benjamin reminded us that once you have a good idea that can go all around the world, it is something useful and like a light bulb, that idea comes to benefit humanity. So again we thank God that we can be champions of hope, bringing hope, bringing joy, and bringing gladness to the hearts of people.”
Food hampers, he advised, are shared among persons in institutions like the Cardin Home, the hospitals, prison, and Children’s Home, saying that what they do is an extension of God’s love to share His message of hope and love. Other needy persons identified in the various communities around the island came to the church to collect their Christmas food hampers.
A number of businesspersons helped the Salvation Army in the church’s mail appeal as well as contributions of persons on the streets mostly outside supermarkets where a kettle would normally be placed, and the Pastor said it was amazing how persons with the little they had contributed to the success of the church’s programme this year. Donations were also received from the Governor General His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, GCMG, CVO, QC, JP, LL.D, St. Kits Electricity Company Limited, and the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, and other corporate entities.
“We thank God that with the contributions we have been able to provide these food hampers,” said Major Campbell. “Today because of the increase in the price of items we were unable to do as last year, because last year when we did about 240 parcels, but this year we are only able to do 175 parcels and that is what we have here and will be given out today.”
Guest speaker at the Christmas food hampers distribution ceremony was Minister of Gospel and former teacher and guidance counsellor Mrs Mavis Armstrong who in her opening prayers offered special mention of the late Major Marjorie Campbell, wife of Major Roxroy Campbell, who passed away in July this year.
“It is a great occasion where we can share the love of Jesus to the less fortunate in communities,” said Mrs Armstrong. “We want to thank in a special way the Salvation Army who have remained faithful to this mandate for over eleven years.”
The guest speaker observed that with the economic situation worsening it became difficult for people to give, but the Salvation Army has continued the programme of Christmas food hampers distribution. She offered a special thank you to all the NGOs, and the different organisations who continue to give even though the country has experienced an economic downturn, and prayed for companies, entities and individuals who are faithful and continue to give.
“We want to thank God for the theme ‘Be champions of hope’, and we want to thank God for what the Salvation Army is doing in St. Kitts and Nevis – they are being champions of hope,” observed Mrs Armstrong. “There are lots of people who come here daily, weekly to look for something that the Salvation Army has to give, and I am sure that none of them are turned away.”