Arima mayor, MP Morris-Julian host charity drives

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: Mayor of Arima Cagney Casimire. Photo Angelo Marcelle

Both the mayor of Arima, Cagney Casimire, and MP for D’Abadie/O’Meara Lisa Morris Julian – the former mayor of Arima – ended the Easter long weekend by making donations in the area on Monday.

Casimire hosted his second annual Day of Dignity charity drive for the homeless at the Arima basketball court with the help of over 15 NGOs.

“It brings a large collective body of outreach to serve the burgesses of Arima,” he said. “Around Easter it is even more important for NGOs to reach out.”

He said he started the drive last year after a personal plea from a few homeless members of the community.

“Coming into my mayorship I recognised and gauged the need for outreach in our society.”

He said last year nearly 100 people in need visited the drive. As of 10am on Monday, nearly 50 people had turned out.

“We noticed more young people this year. We know the need is going to get larger.”

He said the office of the mayor will do a site visit this year at land on Tumpuna Road, allocated some years ago, which it would like to use as a soup kitchen and overnight shelter.

“What that does, is it opens avenues for the NGOs to be able to come and focus on the needy.”

He said he would also like to encourage his corporation to convert the Grandstand in Arima to a multi-cultural complex which NGOs can use as an outreach centre.

Some of the NGOs participating in Monday’s drive were the Bethel World Outreach Ministry, the Diabetes Association of TT, the Rotary Club of Piarco, the Lions Club of Arima, Bringing Awareness and Creating Action (BACA) and La Casita – a home for Venezuelan immigrants in east Trinidad. Contributing sponsors also included Xtra Foods, TT Tissue, Pennywise, and the prison service.

Those who visited were offered a meal, clean clothes, a haircut, and care packages.

Morris-Julien hosted an Easter caravan on Tuesday where she distributed goodie bags to children in her constituency. The bags contained snacks and items for school.

“It’s just to cheer up children who might not be too thrilled about tomorrow (the day children physically returned to school) as well as those who are extremely happy about it,” she told Newsday.

The caravan started at the Larry Gomes Stadium car park in Malabar, Arima and was led by members of the Bikers’ Association and a music truck.

“The music is upbeat and uplifting. We just wanted to spread some love and some cheer.”