Hand in hand they go
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad – October 14, 2019
The theme of ‘Children Helping Children’ was brought to life on Republic Day when over 20o children walked to help other children receive the medical care they urgently need. The annual Community Chest Limited Republic Day Walkathon got off to a healthy start when His Worship Mr. Joel Martinez, the Mayor of Port of Spain, blew the horn to signal the beginning of the event at 8:00 am at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain. Schools are invited to take part in the fundraiser every year which relies on donations for the students’ participation. bmobile donated t-shirts for 50 school children to participate in the event.
Community Chest Trinidad and Tobago Limited is a nonprofit organization in existence for 35 years. With the motto ‘Have A Heart’, they assist children who have difficulty accessing the medical treatment they need locally for cardiac disease and other life threatening conditions. From 2004, this assistance was extended to include students of the Princess Elizabeth Centre who need orthopedic surgery for the complex reconstruction of their hips, legs and spines.
Frank Bradshaw, Community Chest Chairman, explained that Community Chest covers the cost of hospitalization and surgery; air passage for the child and parent or guardian; visa applications; clothing; and out of pocket expenses. “It is our responsibility to ensure that the child, as well as the parent or guardian, are properly covered. To date over 1,000 children have received assistance, including those with complicated problems requiring surgical treatment abroad. There were also 90 successful orthopedic operations.”
Marsha Caballero, TSTT’s Senior Manager Corporate Communications, stated that bmobile is committed to supporting the health and future development of the children of Trinidad and Tobago. “It is our belief that every child who needs healthcare should receive it. bmobile is proud to support initiatives such as this, which will help the children of our nation receive the vital healthcare they need, no matter what their circumstance in life is. As a communications company, we also help people to connect with each other in many different ways. So it’s wonderful to see so many of our children out today, making connections with each other and supporting a worthy cause which will help other children and make a meaningful impact in their lives.”
Adam Aboud, owner of Adam’s Bagels and Vice Chairman and Fundraising Lead of Community Chest, was happy that the turnout from the school children was good. “The children usually respond well to our annual walkathon and our call to do community service. After they come out and learn some more about what we are doing, many of the schools come back year after year because they know that they are doing something to help other children. This really means a lot to these students. We hope that our theme of ‘Children Helping Children’ will encourage a new generation of civic-minded citizens. I want to say thank you to the schools and the students who take the time out every year to join us in raising funds and to raise awareness of the children who need the urgent financial assistance that we provide.”
Aboud also thanked bmobile for their sponsorship. “Every donation to our cause has the potential to make a huge difference in a child’s life. I really want to commend bmobile for coming onboard this year. They were very responsive to our request for support. It is great to see an important brand like bmobile demonstrating that it cares for the children of our country.”
Lystra Gill-Browne was at the walkathon with her 12-year old daughter, Chelsea and son, Aidan who is 11, and shared why they participated. “Since Chelsea was 7, she has been feeding the homeless on her birthday. It is important for children, who are the upcoming generation of our country, to get involved in community service to develop empathy, compassion and a desire to help others. My mother also has a heart condition so anything related to heart disease really resonates with my family, more so when it is children. I am happy that my children wanted to support this cause and we would try to do so again next year. ”
Port of Spain Mayor, Joel Martinez, and Adam Aboud, Vice Chairman and Fundraising Lead of the Community Chest (centre) are flanked by committee members and supporters at this year’s walkathon
Children and adults alike came out in their numbers to raise funds for the worthy cause
Fun for the entire family – Youngsters join their parents for the trek around the savannah to raise funds for sick children in need