Band of Support’s resource lead Chester Parris, left, presents a Massy Food hamper to Cassandra Mohammed, her common-law husband Akasy Maharaj, who is holding their daughter Safeeya Maharaj, at their Morvant home yesterday.

COVID-19 has robbed citizens of whatever little they had, worsening an already devastating financial situation some may have been enduring.

But as the saying goes, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ and it is exactly what volunteers at Band of Support have been doing.

The initiative of Ross advertising, in collaboration with ANSA McAL, brings members of the corporate community, NGOs and volunteers together, forming a network to assist those pushed to the brink by the pandemic.

Yesterday, members readied themselves for what has now become a routine exercise of delivering hampers and supplies.

The contents within each bag are considered as lifelines to some who believed they were out of sight and out of mind.

The group’s journey has taken them to the doorsteps of families like that of Cassandra Mohammed and Akshay Maraj.

Within their galvanise home, both Cassandra and her young son in particular go through the daily rigours in anguish.

“It really hard, sometimes we does have to go up and down in the hospital, like I said, I have a son with a hole in his heart, things very hard,” Mohammed said.

“I miss plenty of appointments for him and myself, because I have a cyst in my right breast. On top of that, our room leaking and we don’t have a mattress, our bed is on top some bottle cases, it really hard.”

Cassandra was presented with hampers from Band of Support. But the supplies are only one form of relief provided by the organisation’s members.

Another recipient of the group’s assistance, Anette Gajadhar, recalled how she fell on difficult times.

“I was part-owner of a bar and since they closed the bar, that was it for me! I didn’t have much money, whatever I had, used up and up. To this day, I’m still struggling.”

She too was grateful knowing there are people who care.

Band of Support member Chester Parris stressed that helping others was now more important than ever.

“Once we can find somebody who is willing to give a certain need to someone else who is in need, then we make a connection and we are able to help and make a delivery like this to anyone in the area…or whether it needs to be a phone call to encourage somebody, even that.”

ANSA McAL, the parent company of Guardian Media Limited, is part of the Band of Support initiative.

Anyone in need of assistance can send a WhatsApp message to 344-4267 OR 267-4267.