December is upon us and so is the holiday season. Christmas trees have arrived on the island; colourful lights are being switched on; shops are stocked up on gift items; holiday entertainment programmes have begun.
The holiday season offers a welcome chance to celebrate with family, whether we’re celebrating the birth of Christ, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or just a traditional festive time.
While many of us will celebrate this holiday season with all the usual foods, beverages, gifts and decorations, we should be mindful that for other residents, this holiday season will be anything but usual.
There are many still struggling to recover from the effects of Hurricane Ivan. There are many struggling from the downturn in the economy due to the drop-off in stay-over tourism this year. There are many having difficulty making ends meet due to the increased costs of living.
Conversely, there are many for whom Hurricane Ivan presented an opportunity for additional earnings as Grand Cayman spent millions and millions of dollars rebuilding, replacing and upgrading that which was destroyed or damaged by the storm.
These are the people who should remember their struggling brothers and sisters in the community, and who should share some of their windfall so everyone can enjoy the holiday season this year.
In a society with low tax rates, the Government cannot be expected to provide for all of the needs of the people.
That is why the private non-profit organisations are so important in Cayman; they help fill the cracks of need that the Government cannot fill.
There are dozens of organisations trying to help those in need in the community.
There’s the National Council of Voluntary Organisations; the Cayman Islands Cancer Society; Hospice Care; the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre; the Women’s Resource Centre; the Cayman Islands Humane Society; the Red Cross; Habitat for Humanity; the Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis Clubs; a multitude of Church groups; and many other worthwhile organisations not mentioned here, all doing their best to help those in need in the community.
They need our help.
In most places, charitable donations are tax deductible, but since there is no income tax here, donations must come from the heart, with no other incentive than goodwill toward our fellow humans, or our animal friends.
It is important to help Cayman’s charitable organisations all year long, but especially so now. Let’s dig a little deeper into our pocket this year and help make this holiday season a happy one for all.