<strong>Helping others</strong>: Laurie Shiell and Pastor Pedro Castro check out the appliances at Bermuda Gas. <em>*Photo by Don Burgess</em><br />
Helping others: Laurie Shiell and Pastor Pedro Castro check out the appliances at Bermuda Gas. *Photo by Don Burgess
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FRIDAY, FEB. 10: In difficult times, it’s always a good thing when someone is willing to step up to the wicket and lead.

That’s what Bermuda Gas did last week when it donated nearly $37,000 worth of appliances to several charities.

The company invited registered charities to select appliances that were left from its recent warehouse sale.

Rather than having a “kid in the candy store” mentality, the various charities only took what they needed.

David DeSilva, sales manager at Bermuda Gas, said: “We realize how important charities are to this island. Everyone knows time are hard right now so some organizations, including Bermuda Gas, may not be able to hand out donations.”

Mr DeSilva said he was “overwhelmed” to see the thankful reactions from the various charities.

“The fact they are being used in environments that are helping others, makes it all worth while.”

The Bermuda Sun’s Don Burgess sat down with Laurie Shiell, executive director of The Centre Against Abuse and Pastor Pedro Castro from the Village Pride Community Centre, which is a community outreach charity operated by Vernon Temple AME Church.


New appliances will help Village Pride cook around 13,000 meals

Can you imagine trying to serve 13,000 meals by heating it through a microwave and a barbecue?

That’s what Village Pride was doing.

Pastor Pedro Castro said: “There was a definite need among the charities.”

Village Pride runs an after school tutorial programme, feeds seniors and provides a continental breakfast at CedarBridge Academy.

“Over a 40 week period we put together about 13,000 meals.

“We’ve actually hired four persons to facilitate our after school programme so the items we received were awesome.

“It means a lot in helping us get through the day more efficiently.

They received from Bermuda Gas a Frigidaire dishwasher worth $795, a Viking warming drawer ($2,110) and a Regency barbecue (retailed for $3,445).

“We do a lot of cooking in our kitchen so we now have a top of the line Viking food warmer so now they can cook things a little earlier in the day and keep them nice and warm and ready to go.

“We received a wonderful barbeque pit and we’re really looking forward to using that. During the summer we do free movies in the community and we’ll throw hamburgers and hot dogs on.

“We don’t charge anything for it. We show family style movies, comedies and adventure movies that would encourage people with hope.”

He added the timing of getting the appliances “could not be better. We are in a recession. Many parts of our community were hit harder than others and it’s going to take longer to rebound.”

He said this outreach isn’t designed to “get people to the church” but to encourage people and being a support to the community.


Abuse Centre’s safe house gets much needed oven and icemaker

Bermuda Gas gave The Centre Against Abuse a Whirlpool oven valued at $2,040 and an Uline icemaker with a retail prices of $1,755 for their safe house.

“We provide the only safe house in Bermuda for women and their children who are looking to escape domestic abuse.

“Last year we knocked down our old safe house and built a new one that is purpose built for these women and their children.

“We give them a safe and peaceful place to stay and receive services.”

She said sometimes it is not even safe for them to stay in Bermuda and the Centre Against Abuse works on “getting them out off the island.”

She said the Centre also helps men.

“You can’t just help by working with the victim; you have to help the abuser as well. Men can be victims as well. Our goal is to transform abusers’ thinking and retool them.

“We want to understand where this anger comes from; where this behaviour comes from and then provide them tools to change by helping them understand what their triggers are.”

The Centre Against Abuse also has programmes in the schools that teach students about abuse.

“We also teach teachers as well as counsellors as to how to look for that in students so they know how to assist the students.”

She said: “The appliances have helped greatly. Our thanks to Bermuda Gas as we were able to take one of the appliances and bless a long-time volunteer for the Centre Against Abuse who hadn’t had a stove since last year.

“That was for someone who has worked with us for over 10 years.”

The icemaker went into the new safe house.

“That’s something we really wanted and we feel complete now.”