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Giatri Bissoondial-Mahadeo as Mrs Claus and president of Rapidfire Kidz Foundation Kevin Ratiram as Santa Claus, distribute gifts to children in Reform Village, Gasparillo during their annual toy drive on Saturday.

Rapidfire Kidz Foundation in partnership with Uni-T&T held its annual Christmas Toy Drive on Saturday delivering gift bags with toys, treats and activity books to 600 children in south Trinidad.

Standing in the tray of a pick up van van, Santa Claus and Mrs Claus visited several communities along the Guaracara Tabaquite Main Road, between Reform Village to Riversdale, Williamsville, spreading Christmas cheer.

Even the children in passing vehicles received gift bags.

The foundation’s president attorney Kevin Ratiram, who dressed up as Santa, explained said they would normally visit at least two schools, but last year and this year they did village toy drives because most children have online school due to the pandemic. “But I want to say is that children should be taught especially now that the greatest gift does not lie in any treat bag or in any toy store, the greatest gift is the gift of life because today many people have lost their loved ones over the last year. Many people have lost their jobs over the last year so the greatest gift we could ever have today or receive today is the gift of life,” said Ratiram.

Inspite of the challenging times, he said the foundation received generous donations from several people and businesses for this event.

“I want to make a very important point and that is in 2020 and in 2021 the Rapidfire Kidz Foundation couldn’t do a single fund raising project because of the restrictions on public gatherings. Between last year and this year we would have lost close to $300,000 in monies that we would otherwise have raised if we were able to do our annual gala dinner and a couple other fundraisers.”

He said, however, that the overwhelming support was a very powerful reminder of the greatness of the human spirit.

As the country enters another year in a pandemic, Ratiram urged the population to follow the advice of the public health professionals and adhere to the regulations.

Pleased that the foundation was able to host their annual treat in these trying times, vice president Rev Joy Abdul-Mohan was also happy that they were able to bring joy to children and “live out our motto to fuel the hearts of children in T&T which of course they are the gems of T&T.”