A couple of weeks ago, the Family Support Network (FSN) put out an S.O.S. on social media calling attention to the dire straits of its pantry. CIBC FirstCaribbean responded on November 1 with a donation of just over $2,900 to cover all the items on the not-for-profit’s list of needs.

Mr. Amory Jervis, Country Manager of the bank, spoke with Ms. Judith Charles, Board Member of the FSN and received an update since the bank’s last donation at Christmas.

“While we have seen the demand for help level off since the start of the year, we still have a fluctuating number of households with between 102 and 122 people in families registering on a monthly basis with the Family Support Network for 2022 so far. The assistance we strive to provide is with life basics such as food and shelter,” said Ms. Charles. “Unfortunately, food is never a “once and done” situation so we are always in urgent need of staples for the pantry to make sure that families can have basic meals – preferably daily. While we receive generous and ad hoc contributions from all sectors of the community, the donation from CIBC FirstCaribbean comes at a low point of the calendar year when we struggle to provide essential groceries to our client base. The FSN Board and its clients are truly grateful for the support.”

The FSN is a non-profit, non-governmental, organisation (NGO) whose primary aim is to aid individuals, couples and families affected by domestic violence. Since Hurricane Irma, the FSN has found itself working with individuals and families affected by other factors including the remnants of the COVID-19 pandemic and the hike in the basic cost of living that has had a devastating impact on people’s socioeconomic situations.  The FSN also provides access to counselling where required and works with a network of volunteers and pro-bono service providers to address immediate and unexpected needs. The organisation sets a budget each year designed to support the delivery of short and long term solutions to its clients.

Mr. Jervis presented the cheque to Ms. Charles reiterating the bank’s longstanding commitment to supporting the FSN’s work in the community.

“The Bank and its staff have the work of the FSN close to heart and will always vote in favour of an activity where we can contribute to efforts to help those in need,” said Mr. Jervis. “Since well before my time here, in fact since 2012, I know that our Corporate and Social Responsibility committees have been hands-on with leading drives around this time of year for food hampers and gifts for the children. They also have donated funds and forfeited internal seasonal celebrations to support our community through the FSN. We are pleased that this year we are able to make an early Christmas donation to help restock the pantry.”

The FSN, which serves clients in Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada, is located on Chalwell Street in Road Town. Beneficiaries and donors can register and collect or drop off items Mondays through Fridays and are asked to make an appointment with the office in advance on (284) 542 2085 to ensure the privacy of its clients.  The emergency telephone number is (284) 499 0999.