Consistent with its mandate to improve the lives of under-privileged, at-risk and orphaned Caribbean youth through sports, health and enrichment programmes, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) Foundation continues to leverage its considerable network of partners across North America and Europe to improve the life chances of the region’s youth.
On Friday September 09, a shipment of 1500 pairs of shoes was dispatched to the Commonwealth of Dominica from New York City, with the promise of more to come later this month. This came as an outcome of the joint mobilization effort of TOCO Foundation, foundered by Saint Lucian born, US-based recording artist, philanthropist and UNICEF Youth Ambassador Taj Weekes, and Zandoli International Foundation.
This initial TOCO response with relief to the nature isle was supported by Ian’s Boots non- profit organisation and Taraji Foundation Inc. On hand to receive the footwear were Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Commonwealth of Dominica to the United H.E. Dr. Vince Henderson, the Dominica Consul General in New York – Hon. Barbara Daley, and Saint Lucia’s Consul General Hon. Julian Du Bois. Joining Taj and Angela Weekes of TOCO to handover the footwear were Ron and Holly Miller of In Ian’s Boots non-profit organization.
“Disaster can be a seven day wonder but their effects linger. One on hand we wanted to respond quickly because in times like these support needs more than expression, it needs meaning. We see this first shipment as an expression of support, but the real value to our Dominica family is in still being there after the waters subside”, the TOCO CEO said. He went on to say that based on the active canvassing by the Foundation and commitments received to date, subsequent dispatches to Dominica by TOCO are imminent.
Over the last six years or so, the impact of TOCO Foundation is being felt from Trinidad in the South to Haiti in the Northern Caribbean, and especially in Saint Lucia as a consequence of its active and self-initiated support to youth. Much of this outreach has been focused on support for sports development through the provision of sporting gear, headhunting to identify eligible candidates for sports scholarships, donation of schoolbooks and suppliers to economically depressed communities and flood hit areas, and through advocacy on the proliferation of Diabetes.