Giftless Christmas blooms toys

When one Cayman family decided not to exchange Christmas gifts but, instead, do something for the children of Grand Cayman, little did they think it would result in masses of toys being flown in from the United States.

But that was exactly the outcome after the Bodden family from Walkers Road initially made the decision not to get each other Christmas presents.

Siblings Andrea, Patricia, Selma Lee, Lyndhurst and his wife Darbra decided, in the run up to Christmas, that since the passage of Hurricane Ivan it would be better to help children in Cayman rather than exchanging gifts. What happened after this gained a momentum of its own.

‘I keep in touch with Andrea Braun (former Cayman Islands Humane Society Shelter Manager) who is now working in Florida,’ explained Ms. Andrea Bodden.

‘She suggested that she’d try a toy drive from Florida. So, she spearheaded it, placing flyers in stores and she got the All Care Animal Hospital at South Lake County, where she is employed, involved.’

Drs. Zagrocki and Shirley there really chipped in to help, said Ms Bodden.

The result is the masses of toys that are winging their way to Cayman, courtesy of Cayman Airways who, in true Christmas spirit, offered to fly the toys for free. Collector of Customs, Mr. Carlon Powery also helped out by waiving the duty on the toys.

In Florida people were happy to help the children of Grand Cayman when they heard about the circumstances some are living under.

Southlake County Florida’s K92 radio station posted an advertisement on its website about the toy drive while a local children’s club, 4H Horsing Around Club chose the toy drive for their annual charitable donation.

‘The whole thing is amazing because it started as such a small idea and grew so big,’ said Ms. Bodden.

Now Lyndhurst and Detective Sergeant Denby Groves, who are members of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Central, are taking the toys under the wing of this organisation and are going to use the toys, on behalf of the club, to sponsor the Community Police’s annual Christmas parties for Bodden Town and East End Primary Schools. The toys will also be used for the Scranton project.

Those involved in this wonderful project just have one simple Christmas wish and that’s to ensure that no children go without toys this festive season. That wish is coming true by the second.

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