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RBC celebrates and applauds the simple acts of kindness demonstrated in our Caribbean communities. While we may not be able to give back to our communities in large ways, it is the simple acts that can make an unforgettable difference in someone's day. During this holiday season and pandemic, giving back to community in small ways will help us all get through this together. #Caribbeanstrong #Actsofkindness

As lockdown measures were implemented across various counties in the Caribbean to curb the spread of COVID-19, Sabrina Knowles (owner of Ship242 in the Bahamas) decided to offer assistance and provided a total of 200 grocery bags to those in need. Some families received hot grocery bags with items to prepare quick meals while other families received cold grocery bags with ready to eat items. For those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic and many who were unable to make it to the grocery store before the lockdown, the assistance from Ship242 was greatly appreciated.

Sabrina Knowles is the owner of Ship242, a shipping company located in the Bahamas. Having been involved with charity organizations over the years, she was able to reach out and provide groceries to a few charities as a way to help those most affected by the pandemic.

However, in August 2020 when the government implemented strict lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, many grew even more concerned. Citizens feared losing their jobs and many flocked to grocery stores. Sabrina was thankful knowing that as an essential business Ship242 would have been allowed to remain open during the lockdown and she wanted to do even more to give back.

Sabrina Knowles, Owner of Ship242

After talking with her husband, they decided to purchase food items and provide grocery bags to various families. Once others heard of the initiative, they also began to help them with gathering items. Based on each family’s needs and living situation they were given either a hot grocery bag or a cold grocery bag. Hot bags included ingredients that could be used to prepare quick and easy meals while the cold bags were packed with ready to eat items.

Once the items were sourced and the bags were packed, Sabrina reached out to various charities to coordinate with families to collect the grocery bags at Ship242. The response was overwhelming and the number of people that showed up grew daily. Sabrina recalled, “People were lining up as early as 6:00 a.m. and the following day people were outside from 4:00 a.m.”

The initiative ran for one week and Ship242 had successfully distributed a total of 200 grocery bags; each bag was able to feed approximately 3 to 4 people for a few days. Sabrina was thankful for the success of the food distribution as she is always looking for ways to help, “There is always someone in need and I believe that we are blessed so that we can then help others. I’ve always felt that giving is something you’re supposed to do.”

Sabrina has plans to work with a developer to equip Ships242’s current website so that customers can donate to their charity efforts online. She also hopes to take it a step further and one day develop an app to further her charity work.

“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.”