Ahead of the weekend-long lockdown that began last week in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19, Justine Miller had only one thought in her mind: how will those in need survive?
Miller is a mother of six – three adults and three minors – and also takes care of her parents.
With her husband, who worked in the hard-hit tourism industry, becoming one of the thousands of Bahamians now unemployed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, her family is relying on her employment at the Nassau Container Port to get by.
But, in spite of her responsibilities, Miller’s concern for others led her and a few co-workers to put together more than 20 boxes and care packages of essential items to give to single mothers and the homeless, to help ease their burden during the pandemic.
“There are a lot of persons, especially mothers, who lost their jobs and some were even finding it difficult before they lost their job,” Miller told The Nassau Guardian yesterday.
“That, alone, bothered me for a long time and along with my two co-workers and our spouses, we decided to put [together] what was originally supposed to be 10 packages, but we ended up putting 20 packages, plus some care packages for the homeless persons together.
“Packages were mostly distributed to single mothers.”
While Miller said she is thankful to still have a job, she is “someone who’s been where a lot of persons are now”.
“A lot of people today at this moment hurting and don’t know where the next meal is coming from,” Miller said.
She added, “If everyone [can] help someone, even a box of noodles, it may seem simple to you but means a lot to someone else. That’s how I see it.”
The packages included “bleach, dish liquid, detergent, rice, tuna, sugar, Quaker oaks, bread, water, Kool-Aid, onions, mac and cheese, tea, cream, noodles, cooking oil, Vienna sausage, soap, tissue, butter and tomato paste”, according to Miller.
She said that she and her co-workers who organized the donations wanted to give more but were unable to financially.
“I don’t like to be put out there [and] neither do my co-workers,” Miller said.
“We just did what we knew was the right and just thing to do and helped as many as we could’ve helped.”
She added, “I just pray many more people, no matter how small, will help someone else.”