Students across Barbados will continue to support the Kiwanis Silver Dollars drive.

This was the assurance given to the Kiwanis Club of Bridgetown by Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, as he addressed a press conference today to launch the drive, at the Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road.??The Silver Dollars Charity Drive is expected to begin next Friday, October 23, within the schools.

Noting that both private and public schools have always participated, he said: ???It is also a lesson in learning to share, to give and to care and we want to imbue our children with those attributes and with those particular virtues.???

The Minister stressed that these contributions helped other children, as well as persons within the eight charities in whose aid the drive is held, noting: ???Here at the Ministry of Education our support has never been withheld ???. Hopefully, I can make my own [donation] early???putting a few dollars down on the red carpet.???

Appealing to nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to contribute, Mr. Jones said: ???There is no greater pleasure than knowing that you???ve contributed to the lives of others who might not be???as fortunate as you are and that this gives you that special feeling; the notion of empathy is further reinforced?????? He estimated that there were about 60,000 students across these institutions which could realise a target of $60,000 to assist the drive.

Chairman of the Kiwanis Silver Dollars Charity, Rory Hunte, pointed out that there would be a new spin on things this year. Acknowledging that it was the 10th anniversary of the Charity and also the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis, he said there would be a slight adjustment to the silver dollars drive.

Mr. Hunte explained that on Saturday, October 31, in Heroes Square and Independence Square, The City, ???there will be a red carpet area, about one or two yards, where individuals can come and place their coins [and] have photos taken as they contribute???. Noting that well known personalities would be involved, he added that Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, as patron of the Charity, would be ???doing a ceremonial laying of coins???.

Volunteers from the Key Clubs, Circle K???ers and other clubs are also expected to assist, while members of the Royal Barbados Police Force will be on hand to ensure a smooth process.

On Sunday, October 25, churches are expected to ???pick up a collection???. Chairman of the Barbados Christian Council, Canon Noel Burke, said it aligned with the aims and objectives of the council, which speak to the whole notion ???of lending support and providing liaison with other agencies – that understanding that no one person or no one agency can respond to all the various challenges that we have in society???.

Kiwanis Silver Dollars is a registered charity that assists the Asthma Association of Barbados; the Barbados Cancer Society, the Barbados Council for the Disabled; the Dyslexia Centre; the Heart and Stroke Foundation; the Hope Foundation; The Learning Centre and the Barbados Special Olympics.??In addition to the support from schools and churches, the drive is sponsored by Republic Bank, and supported by FLOW and other corporate entities.

FLOW???s Corporate Communication Specialist, Marilyn Sealy, commended the Kiwanis on their milestones and noted that as a partner ???they wanted to ensure the event continued to build on its great legacy of reaching out to help the children???.

She said FLOW Barbados was further encouraged on recognising that some of the funds collected would go towards the children of Dominica, following the recent passing of Hurricane Erika. Ms. Sealy added that internally her organisation would start its own Silver Dollars drive, the proceeds of which would be donated to the Kiwanis.

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