Artistes quietly helping victims
The soca artistes and other celebrities who have been lending assistance to the flood victims in the West and Northwest are shying away from media attention and are also not seeking to endorse any companies or products.
Radio personality, Devon Matthews began a donation collection drive on the Sunday following the disastrous flooding, stationing himself on the Brian Lara Promenade and tweeting that he was there to collect any food items, water and whatever else people wanted to contribute.
Bunji Garlin and his wife, Fay-Ann Lyons joined Matthews that afternoon and they returned to the Promenade the following day to receive more donations. In the two days they collected about two truckloads of supplies. The three artistes along with other artistes and personalities who joined in are continuing to collect and distribute whatever is donated.
Garlin and Lyons posted photographs on their respective Twitter accounts showing just how severely affected families are by the flooding. The images show homes with slush reaching almost to the ceilings in some homes and situations where families lost everything they owned including their children's newly purchased schoolbooks and uniforms.
It seems that along with media houses calling for interviews with the artistes and wanting to repost the photographs, corporate entities have been seeking photo opportunities in which the artistes are seen receiving products on behalf of the flood victims.
This moved Garlin to post on his BBM a flash message stating that his actions and those of his wife were because their hearts go out to the victims and they are doing what they believe they must as people who are able to help.
Garlin wrote that whatever photographs they posted were done with the permission of the families involved so that their contacts on Twitter and BBM could see just how horrible the situation is and that help is needed immediately. He said that one must be very cautious and sensitive in how the images are used.
Garlin also wrote that this is not a time for anyone to gain any promotional mileage, but a time to help get people back on their feet and restore peace of mind and dignity. He also praised a bottled water company for sending them 100 cases of product with all the labels removed from the bottles. "We would want their help if it was us," Garlin wrote.