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Jul 14, 2009

Tax collectors share time with the elderly

Story PictureThe Sales Tax Department says it has exceeded its expectations and this year alone it has collected one hundred and eight five million dollars. To celebrate the third anniversary of the General Sales Tax a week of activities are being held and today in Belize City, the Mercy Kitchen was the venue for their Community Outreach program. GST officers volunteered their time to feed and entertain the elderly citizens at the center and News Five’s Delahnie Bain stopped in to find out how the day was going.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting
G.S.T. usually means a little extra cash out of your wallet. But a group of elderly citizens at the Mercy Kitchen was on the receiving end of the tax. G.S.T. Officer Delanni Thurton-Romero says the Mercy Kitchen is a good place start as part of their Outreach Activities.

Delanni Thurton-Romero, G.S.T. Officer, Sales Tax Department
“We just had a list of charities and we just decided to go here. Actually, when we came here this morning we learnt quite a few things about Mercy Kitchen, like for instance they have a clinic, they have a pharmacy, we didn’t know that. The elderly come here for breakfast also and they also bathe and get a change of clothes. So they are always room for volunteers here and also to give canned foods and to give clothing as well.”

Mercy Kitchen operates under the umbrella of the Mercy Care Center and with the long lists of services provided by the charitable organization, Director Andre O’Brien says today’s event is much appreciated.

Andre O’Brien, Director, Mercy Care Center
“The department contacted us and asked if they would have been given the permission to come in and entertain the guests and serve them food. They chose a date and we worked along with them and I approved it for them to come in and serve the guests, entertain them. As you can see inside they were playing different games, music. They’re doing their community service as a group and I applaud that coming from the General Sales Tax Office.”

And the guests could not be happier as they enjoyed lunch, a number of games, entertainment and some of them showed off their singing talents.

Ellen Matura
“I di enjoy myself, even though I can’t get up and do certain things, I still di enjoy myself because I love you and I love everybody and Jesus love everybody.”

Consuelo Wagner
“I di enjoy todeh fine and I glad to see unnu all here and I neva feel to good but like mi boss tell me ih glad to see mi come back. I glad to see di young lady when ih dance. I enjoy myself.”

Kenneth Harper
“I love di movements dat is going on too. It’s very uplifting and my spirit is feeling content and I glad to see you all come around here.”

Wilfred Vernon
“I di enjoy myself, yes.”

Delahnie Bain
“What activities you participate in?”

Wilfred Vernon
“I participate in dominoes.”

The General Sales Tax Office also made a donation of canned goods to the Mercy Kitchen. Delahnie Bain for News Five.


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