August 16, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from March of this year we’ve had to live under Emergency Orders, accompanied with lockdowns, social distancing protocols and facemasks. This was not the year we envisioned; however, it became our reality.
Despite the lockdowns and dismission of large gatherings, The Torchbearers Youth Association never stopped working. With already planned initiatives abruptly placed on pause, the Association did not hesitate to pivot, for the act of service is not demonstrated by spectacular public events but through acts of kindness.
We immediately established an emergency relief fund for our members. The purpose of this fund is to ensure that members negatively and adversely affected by Covid-19 receive financial assistance. Once the request for assistance is made and reviewed, funds are deposited directly to the individual’s account. All requests are kept confidential. To date, every member that has made a request has received financial assistance. The Emergency Relief Committee is keeping and will provide a full account of all funds disbursed.
Even though physical meetings were suspended, we continued hosting our monthly meetings virtually. One of our meetings featured a discussion with Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister The Hon. K. Peter Turnquest. The purpose of this meeting was to offer our suggestions and advice on how we believe the Government should tackle both health and the economic impacts of COVID-19.
With The Blood Bank at Princess Margret Hospital at critically low levels, on April 29th 2020, the Ministry of Health and the Public Hospitals Authority, in partnership with numerous NGO’s and Cooperate Bahamas hosted a National Blood Drive at The National Stadium. The Torchbearers Youth Association not only volunteered but also assisted in organizing the event. Stamped a great success, the event surpassed the goal of collecting 50 pints of blood. The day ended with a total of 97 pints of blood collected.
As we are aware, it is advised by health officials that senior citizens remain at home during the pandemic to decrease their chance of exposure. On Saturday June 27th, 2020 the Torchbearers Youth Association purchased, prepared and delivered care packages to the homes of senior citizens and Meritorious Council Members (MCMs) in our Party.
These are very difficult times. This is no time for petty politics and political theatrics. Many people are hurting. Many people are struggling. Now, more than ever, it is important for everyone to do what he or she can to assist. Though this pandemic has physically separates us, The Torchbearers Youth Association will continue to find effective ways to help our brothers and sisters in need.