Over the past few years, it has been no secret that many Trinidadians, both home and abroad, have been upset over the current situation in the country. I grew up thinking of Trinidad as "Paradise on Earth". After all, we've got everything… wonderful beaches, tasty foods, natural resources, multiculturalism, exotic animals, talented athletes, beautiful people, and of course music and carnival!
It has been saddening for most of us that all of these positive features have been dampened by the negativity of hate and crime. There has been no obvious/realistic solution in sight, and little to no hope that our children would ever know Trinidad to be the paradise that we once knew.
Until now… maybe.
This past weekend, our little island of Trinidad was hit with the worse flooding it has ever experienced. Thousands of people lost homes, cars and possessions. It was truly devastating.
But amidst the tragedy, a beautiful silver lining emerged.
THE AMAZING CITIZENS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO SHOWED THEIR TRUE *RED, WHITE AND BLACK* COLOURS.
There was no race or politics. Citizens rallied together, without hesitation, to help those in need. They didn't wait for the government to take charge or tell them what to do. They took the situation into their own hands and helped in any and all ways possible.
Shelters quickly opened, donations started pouring in, rescues were made.
Schools, religious buildings and even people's private homes opened their doors to the homeless. Boxes and bags of food, clothing, toiletries and bedding were being brought in for those in need. People used their private trucks and boats to rescue those who were trapped.
The kindness and humanity didn't stop there… it rippled to the corporate sector as well:
- RBC donated $300,000 to The Red Cross of Trinidad and Tobago
- Coosal’s Construction decided to repave the northbound lane of the Uriah Butler Highway free of charge
- Nutrimix has committed 3000 packs of all-purpose flour for collection
- PriceSmart Movie Towne loaded two 20 ft containers with support from Paramount Transport, Intermarine and others
- Chambers united to raise funds
- Kiss Baking Company distributed over 3000 loaves of bread and hundreds of muffins
- Blue Waters donated over 5000 cases of bottled water
- The Ansa McAl Group of Companies pledged $1 million
- KFC packed thousands of boxes of chicken meals to give out
- Junior Sammy’s employees filled sandbags to give to residents in affected communities and filled its vehicles filled with food to give hot meals to stranded and distressed residents
- Subway prepared sandwiches and wraps for distribution
- TTMA created a GoFundMe account
- Keith Khan's Books Etc. Ltd. assisted in replacing lost and damaged school books
- Gobin Property Rentals offered to donate 100 mattresses
- PTSC provided free shuttle service to and from San Fernando and Port of Spain
- New Dawn Healthcare opened their doors to anyone needing medical help, consultations, referrals and ECGs, all free of charge.
- Individuals posted on social media, offering to repair appliances and vehicles, as well as transportation services to those in need, with no labour charge.
…and the list goes on!
Trinis living abroad have also been acting quickly and doing their part. GoFundMe pages have been opened. Shipments and barrels are being organized and sent down. Crews are flying down themselves with supplies.
The "flooding" of support and love has outweighed the flood waters.
We are smart people. We are strong people. And this weekend proves that we are also GOOD people.
This is our turning point. Let's keep the "GOOD" momentum going. Let's use this new community-led unity to make a change in our country. We were holding on by a thread… now let's come together and strengthen the rope.
This weekend we bailed flood waters… now let's come together to bail the water out of our "Sinking Ship".
Don't wait for the leaders. There is power in numbers. There is power in community.
May God bless our nation.