Project Umbrella – In Review
When we first set out on Project Umbrella we had a couple goals in mind. Here’s a look back at how many of these we were able to fulfill.
The project came about in the midst of our 4th blood drive. The rains had fallen heavily the night before and we were told to expect a lower turnout because of ‘some flooding’ that had happened in different parts of the country. When we came to know of the extent of the situation though, we felt that we had to do our part to contribute to relief effort in whatever way feasible.
Project Umbrella was then born as a collaborative effort with The Namaste Foundation, with the primary goal of collecting items toward relief for persons in flood-affected areas.
Goals (maybe not what you thought)
In addition to providing relief, we sought to hit a couple other targets in line with what we as an organisation hope to achieve in the long-term. We first sought to create some sense of awareness of the situation, and at the same time have it linked to an outlet that people could take action through. Our efforts took us out into the affected areas to see first hand what had happened and to hear the stories of those affected. By better understanding the situation ourselves, we would then be able to communicate it to others through the narrative told on our page and through a couple videos we compiled.
Another aim we were shooting for was to show those in affected areas that the rest of T&T cared. Instead of just relying on the official channels and bodies, we wanted to provide a more direct outlet through which people could contribute to the situation. We were able to set up locations throughout Trinidad and have people from all different areas contribute to helping their fellow citizens. It was a great step in the direction of understanding that sometimes we have to take action ourselves, and when we do we can make a real difference. This is after all, our T&T.
A great thing about this initiative was that we weren’t the only ones thinking this way. We found some great examples along the way of others chipping in where no-one had asked them too. Take for example, this gesture below.
While we were able to provide some relief through this project, we feel that this shouldn’t be our only activity targeted at the situation. Providing items and aid can be seen as attacking the ‘symptoms of the problem’. We as an organisation are always on the lookout for sustainable solutions and so we will be exploring projects that can tackle the causes of what happened. More on these soon…
Also worth mentioning, is what this project meant for us as an organisation. For those of you who have been following us for the last year or so you, would have noticed that this project was a significant departure from what you’re accustomed to seeing from us. It was our first big initiative outside our usual blood donation efforts, and it represented a starting point from which we would be moving into more varied types of projects now. Our goal has always been to take on projects that are diverse, but that still afford the opportunity to do some good. We see this as our first big step in that direction, and we look forward to many more to come.
A big thank you
We’d like to thank all those who made this possible. To all who helped spread the word both online and in person, and to those who contributed, thanks so much. A big thank you too to the businesses that opened their doors to us and let us use their places as collection points (see below).
Finally we’d like to thank The Namaste Foundation for being an excellent partner in this project. They were truly a pleasure to work with and their experience around collection drives helped in a large part to make the project the success that it was. We hope to see big things coming from this group and we look forward to collaborating with them again in the future.
For their locations, we thank:
– Bikini Cabana
– Cross Crossing Medical Centre
– Enbar/Barade Enterprises (Tyre shop)
– ESG Business Suites
– Fair and Square
– Freeport Dental & Implant Center
– Ojoe’s Variety Store
– Qualitech Machining Services Limited
– Rain and Lissa Medical Services Ltd
– Randall’s Pharmacy
– Signature Selection
– Simply Runway
– Singh’s Auto Rentals
– Tile Warehouse