Near the end of October, the Council of Churches spearheaded a telethon called Hands across the Caribbean. It was an effort to raise funds to assist in the emergency relief for Caribbean nations that were affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Today the President of the Council of Churches, Bishop Roosevelt Papaloute handed over a cheque for just over eighty-three thousand dollars to Director General of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman.
Rev. Roosevelt Papaloutte
“Just a little over two months ago we took the initiative to raise some funds to assist our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean especially in the Eastern Caribbean who were affected by hurricanes that really caused a lot of damage to the Caribbean earlier in September. Today to me is one of the most beautiful days in this advent season as we prepare to celebrate the nativity of Christ as we are about to turn to the Red Cross what we have raised as a Belizean community, as a people of God. In expressing our support but most importantly our love to the people of the Caribbean who were so badly affected especially those of Dominica and Barbuda and so it is with joy that on behalf of the Belize Council of Churches I say thank you to all those who donated towards the effort and we can assure you that your donation is a sign of your love and God’s goodness and faithfulness to others.”
Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley said the result is just a testament to what can happen when we work together.
Darrell Bradley, Mayor of Belize City
“It was a tremendous initiative showing the goodwill and the generosity of the Belizean people and it was such a warming pleasure for the City Council to have worked with such prestigious and established organizations like those represented here today including the Council of Churches, the Belize Evangelical Association, including the Love Group of Companies, the Bar Association of Belize and the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers. Together with our sponsors, the event received tremendous support from BTL and Smart. We received tremendous financial assistance including from the Central Bank of Belize and other large sponsors and we just want to recognize all of those persons across the country of Belize who gave of their heart to help those in need. We know that this hurricane season we were blessed because we did not have a major hurricane event in Belize but notwithstanding that, that should evoke in each of us a generous spirit that we should help those who were affected and those who are in need. So on behalf of the Belize City Council, on behalf of all the organizing entities I want to give an especially warm thank you to all of those who contributed to this initiative. The total amount raised, and this is a growing figure because we recently got confirmation that the Central Bank of Belize pledged an additional $15,000 and we are just working the mechanics for us to receive that amount, but the total that we will be presenting this morning is $83,089.95.”
In accepting the funds, Director General of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman expressed gratitude and spoke of the devastation caused by the hurricanes.
Lily Bowman, Director General of the Belize Red Cross
“When there are disasters in the world, anywhere in the world, the Red Cross is normally the first on the scene. This is no different this time, they were out there because of course, the country has a national society which was totally destroyed, they have no home right now and the staff and the director general everybody lost everything so it was more emotional and more meaningful for us to be in there working. The federation has been building houses, have been providing meals, and it’s not easy getting to some of these places because apart from the hurricane there were landslides that blocked entire communities. They have been providing other relief items as well as working on health programs with the people and we have not psychosocial support is an ongoing thing. These people are really devastated and they have so many years left for recuperating. So this money Mr.Mayor and the other very generous contributors will go a long way. It will be employed where it is most needed at this time.”
Bowman also shared that members from the Belize Red Cross had gone to Dominica to assist in the rebuilding efforts.