Love on the rock makes Bermuda a better place
One year after it was formed, Bermuda is Love is holding its first event since it marked its first anniversary. Sekou Hendrickson spoke to Aaron Crichlow, one of its founders, about how the group has grown.
Aaron Crichlow found again and again that more could be done to tackle inequality and environmental problems after heart to hearts with friends and family.
The 25-year-old said: “We decided to put our talk into action, one step at a time.”
Mr Crichlow and ten other young adults formed Bermuda is Love last August in a bid to make Bermuda better.
The group started with picking up trash around the island, but soon branched out into neighbourhood gardens, donating and serving food at food programmes and giving school supplies to Harrington Sound Primary School in Smith’s.
Mr Crichlow, from Warwick, said that he and the founding members had volunteered at several charities in high school and saw Bermuda is Love as a logical extension of their earlier efforts.
He added that the group had their breakthrough moment a clothing giveaway in March where they started off with 80 bags of clothes and left with 20 bags.
Mr Crichlow said: “During the giveaway many people who came to collect clothes were very appreciative.
“That was when we felt that our public perception had increased to a point where we felt like we were doing something that was impactful.
“We haven’t looked back since then.”
Mr Crichlow said that Bermuda is Love, which had about 100 other volunteers join in the last year, relied on help from like-minded groups.
He explained that Keep Bermuda Beautiful, an environmental charity, lent equipment for their trash collection efforts.
He added that Elliot Primary School in Devonshire also let them hold their clothing collection and giveaways on the school premises.
Mr Crichlow said: “As a group and individually, we have connected with others who are keen to improve our community.
“We are constantly creating a network within our generation which we hope will have long term benefits.”
Bermuda is Love also holds monthly blood donation drives where they talk about the importance of giving blood and help potential donors set up appointments.
Mr Crichlow said that visits to the Blood Donor Centre at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital slowed during the Covid-19 pandemic because people were unable or unwilling to donate.
But he added that, thanks to the group’s efforts, the centre had got about 40 new volunteers.
Mr Crichlow said: “We are most proud of setting up a place where people, especially young people, can come together to actively make a difference in our community.”
He added the public response to their work had been excellent had grown as the months went on.
Mr Crichlow said many companies, such as Think Real Estate, who designed the group’s banners, were eager to work with them.
He added: “Everybody is very appreciative and they love what we’re doing, that it’s young people involved and that we’re raising awareness about the different problems.”
Mr Crichlow, a pupil barrister with law firm Cox Hallett Wilkinson, said that the group planned to focus on campaigning and boosting the organisation’s profile over the next year of operation.
He added that Bermuda is Love also wanted to strengthen their community ties and relationships with other groups.
Bermuda is Love will hold a school clothing collection drive today at 7 McKenzie Way in Warwick from 10am to 4pm.
They will earlier work in a community garden at TN Tatem Middle School, also Warwick, and talk about the importance of food sustainability between 10am and noon.
The group will hold a blood donation drive next Monday at the Blood Donor Centre at KEMH in Paget between 11am and 2pm.
They will also volunteer at Christ Church Warwick’s Food programme on August 21 from 10am to noon and at the Anglican Cathedral’s food programme the next day from 11.45am to 1pm.
Bermuda is Love will also hold a school uniforms giveaway at the Berkeley Institute in Pembroke on August 29 from 10am to 2pm.
• To volunteer for Bermuda is Love, call 732-1899 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org