Canadian Charity Helps In Trinidad At Christmas

In Trinidad These Toronto Angels Walk Softly And Carry A Big Cheque

By Stephen Weir
Tony Chankar was a hard man to track down this Christmas holiday. The Scarborough printer and community leader was in Trinidad visiting family and literally out everyday of his trip spreading the love on behalf of Toronto’s UNI-TNT with those in need.
It took three-days of trying before we connected by phone. “Well today we gave $15,000 TT to the RapidFire Kidz Foundation here in Trinidad and Tobago” said Mr. Chankar. “This money, which we raised in Toronto, is helping the kids who are in the hospital over the holidays at the San Fernando General Hospital. It is Trinidad’s big hospital and there is a real need.”
“We did a presentation today to the organization which gives presents and baskets to everyone in the Children’s ward. RapidFire is a church driven charitable foundation in Trinidad that has been doing outstanding work in the community for a number of years.”
Tony Chankar and his family have lived and worked in Toronto for decades. He and a number of Canadian friends have been helping raising money for charities in Toronto but, concerns about his homeland bubbled up 21\2 years ago when a string of natural disasters hit Trinidad, from storms to major floods.
“ It was serious, so a bunch of us decided that we would form a Foundation in Toronto - you can read it about on our UNI-TNT Facebook Page,” he told me. “ Since then we have been giving money and things that make a difference from blankets to wheelchairs. We only work with RapidFire Kidz , the Salvation Army and the Spice Boys Foundation to insure that ALL of the money we have raised is put to good use. These are honest organizations that care!”
Spice Boys Foundation is an ad hoc group of Trinidadian men who hung around in a café called the Spice. When they decided to form a charitable foundation they named it after their meeting place.
“Every year we give away 10 wheelchairs with them,” explained Mr Chankar. “Today the wheelchair we gave away was for a young girl suffering muscular dystrophy.”
“ Our group (UNI-TNT) is all about giving a 100%. We charge nothing back to the Foundation. Not expenses. Not flights. Not anything,” said Mr. Chankar. “ Our money supports charities in both Canada and Trinidad 100% all of the time.
The group raises about $30,000 Cdn a year thanks to a quartet of fund raising events — a spring party, a summer boat cruise, a Christmas party and also bus trips to nearby casinos. “We also have a large picnic in August month and this is when we give back to the Toronto community.”

Picture L to R: Kevin Ratiram (RFKF), Carlos Maharaj, Tony Chankar, Neil Sabare, Kurt Hanomansingh
Uni-tnt, 8 active members
Carlos Maharaj, Pacos Goberdhan, Steve Ramrattan, Duce Sankar, Neil Sabare, Tony Chankar, Neil Rampersad, Anthony Joseph

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