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Michael Khan and Tige Gilalta are Mortgage Professionals in the Specialized Sales Force at RBC Royal Bank in Trinidad. They both formed part of a team that served as the driving force in executing impactful projects to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. By committing to doing a project every 3 months, they were able to provide food hampers to the less fortunate as well as school supplies to students in need.

RBC celebrates and applauds the simple acts of kindness demonstrated by our colleagues. We remain committed to our vision of building stronger communities and find joy in helping others. While we are not all able to give back in large ways, it is the simple acts that can make a difference in someone’s day. During this holiday season and pandemic, giving back to our community in small ways will help us all get through this together. #Caribbeanstrong #Actsofkindness

As the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic affected an increasing number of citizens in Trinidad in March 2020, Michael and Tige wanted to do something positive to make a difference. They decided to run various projects that would directly satisfy the needs in their community that were most pressing at the time. As more people began to learn about their initiative, a number of employees from branches across Trinidad wanted to help.

The Idea of the Back to school drive Realised

Their first project took place over March and April and was centered on distributing grocery hampers. Each member of the team was asked to identify one family who they knew would benefit from receiving a hamper. Donations from staff members in various branches and departments were used to provide 15 families with a pre-packaged grocery hamper valued at TTD300. Each package included an assortment of food items and toiletries.

It was confirmed in Trinidad that students preparing for the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination would return to school in July 2020. The team of employees partnered with the non-profit organisation, The Power of Silence to donate stationery packages to approximately 75 students. The packages included copybooks, pencils, rulers, erasers and other items. Michael recalled his reaction upon receiving pictures and a thank you letter from a representative at The Power of Silence, “That gave us a sense of satisfaction that we did make a difference. It was really an inspiration for us to keep doing these projects.”

Back to School Packages all laid out and ready for delivery to students

As for the scope of their next project for 2020, it’s not yet confirmed but the goal is for it to be carried out in December for the Christmas season. As the volunteer team continues to grow and evolve, they are hopeful that this initiative can become a longstanding project. Tige concluded by saying, “No matter what happens with Covid, there will always be persons in need and we will see how best we can help.”

“All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as at the date of the publication and are subject to change. This article is not an express or implied endorsement of any third parties or their initiatives by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.”