Staff members of the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) have managed to successfully marry charity and taking care of the environment.

Today the BGIS donated a food barrel and over $300 (the result of a recycling drive emanating from the BGIS’ HIV Education Committee) to the HIV/AIDS Food Bank. Since 2006, the BGIS has been making donations to the Food Bank through contributions from its staff. The recycling drive, however, began after chairperson of the BGIS’ HIV Education Committee, Esther Jones, took the decision to recycle used pet bottles which were previously discarded. Since then, the list has been expanded to include paper, plastics and even glass products.

In explaining the rationale behind the initiative, Ms. Jones said: "It was just the right thing to do.?? The environment needs our help and the persons who receive items from the food bank need our help as well. If these were items we were going to throw out, it just seemed logical to use the money to help those who need it."

She expressed satisfaction that staff members had so readily bought into the idea and said that the recycling drive would continue in 2011 and beyond and urged any person or business in the Bay Street area who wanted to donate recyclable materials to do so.

"You can bring your recyclables to the BGIS any Wednesday and we’ll gladly take them off your hands. And you can rest assured that all proceeds will go to a good cause. The HIV/AIDS Food Bank needs all the help it can get," Ms Jones stressed.

Acting Deputy Chief Information Officer of the BGIS, Sharon Lynch, who was also on hand for the presentation, thanked the staff for their generosity. She noted that the BGIS had established an internal HIV/AIDS committee whose members worked tirelessly to promote HIV sensitisation and education.

"We at BGIS are committed not only to educating the public about HIV and AIDS but also assisting those who are affected or infected by HIV," Ms. Lynch said."??

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