Fay-Ann thanks flood relief donors

So­ca star Fay-Ann Lyons-Al­varez is as­sur­ing cit­i­zens that all the nec­es­sary steps were tak­en to en­sure all the fi­nan­cial do­na­tions made by in­ter­na­tion­al celebri­ties to­wards flood re­lief for those af­fect­ed by last week­end’s dev­as­tat­ing floods got to the right hands.

In a tele­phone in­ter­view with the T&T Guardian yes­ter­day, Lyons-Al­varez said nei­ther she nor her hus­band Ian “Bun­ji Gar­lin” Al­varez col­lect­ed any of the do­na­tions. Rather, they sim­ply served as a li­ai­son be­tween lo­cal non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions (NGOs) such as Is There Not A Cause Trinidad and To­ba­go (IT­N­ACTT), Habi­tat TT, Or­ange House and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the celebri­ties who are au­tho­rised to make the do­na­tions on their be­half.

“I am very keen to make sure that at no point in time any of the funds do not reach the char­i­ty it is in­tend­ed to,” Lyons-Al­varez as­sured.

“That is why the safest thing for me to do is have them send it straight to the char­i­ty…we don’t touch any­thing… I post­ed the ac­count num­bers on my In­sta­gram and we sent them via email to their (the celebri­ties) peo­ple cause you know they would have their busi­ness peo­ple who han­dle what­ev­er fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions for them.”

Be­y­once’s hair­styl­ist Neal Fa­ri­na has des­ig­nat­ed his hair sa­lon in New York as a drop off point for the col­lec­tion of phys­i­cal do­na­tions from those who wish to send items to the re­lief here in T&T. How­ev­er, Lyons-Al­varez is cur­rent­ly look­ing in­to the lo­gis­tics of get­ting the items here. The re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for this, she said, would rest with the lo­cal NGOs she is work­ing with.

“We have spo­ken to Or­ange House and a num­ber of char­i­ties and we’re do­ing the col­lec­tion and then we would hand it over to them…they are ac­cus­tomed to ship­ping aid in­to the coun­try and what not so they would do all the nec­es­sary things and re­ceiv­ing in Trinidad…the peo­ple who are do­ing the ship­ping is char­i­ty-ori­ent­ed and the peo­ple who are re­ceiv­ing are char­i­ty-ori­ent­ed.”

Most of the in­ter­na­tion­al celebri­ties who have con­tributed to the flood re­lief were ei­ther born in T&T be­fore leav­ing or have fa­mil­ial ties re­sid­ing in the coun­try and in­clude names such as Nic­ki Mi­naj, Bus­ta Rhymes and Rob Ri­ley.

These celebri­ties, Lyons-Al­varez said, reached out to her af­ter see­ing their so­cial me­dia pleas for help fol­low­ing the dev­as­ta­tion.

“When they saw what hap­pened, they mes­saged us and said ‘hey how can we help? What can we do?’” she said.

The so­ca star com­mend­ed those who are lend­ing a hand dur­ing this time.

“I’d like to com­mend every­body, all the cit­i­zens who had a moral re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to do it and who had a ser­vice re­spon­si­bil­i­ty to do it…for com­ing out and help­ing,” she said.

- by Rishard Khan

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