A special Cayman Islands Christmas gift in the form of a cheque for more than US$9,000 will be sent this month to aid some of the world’s poorest children, says Mrs. Sheree Harrison, a member of Cayman Loves Children.
‘As always, the money will be sent on behalf of the good-hearted people of the Cayman Islands,’ she said. ‘Cayman Loves Children raised this money in recent months and we thank all those who gave. This is tangible proof that even a small country like ours has many good people who care about all children regardless of their nationality.’
Mrs. Harrison says the money will support UNICEF health and education programs that help the world’s most impoverished children. Cayman Loves Children, a small club made up primarily of young people, donates 100 per cent of the money it raises to UNICEF, she said.
Child poverty statistics can shock the uninformed. The Cayman Loves Children website (www.caymanloveschildren.8k.com) lists several United Nations figures that are nothing short of horrifying. For example, an estimated 30,000 young children die each day in the developing world as a result of poverty. The annual toll is around 10 million deaths, all for lack of medicine, water or food that often costs mere pennies.
‘It is important for people in Cayman to understand just how meaningful a $5 or $10 donation can be,’ said Mrs. Harrison. ‘A few dollars can translate into a life-saving vaccine for a baby or school supplies for an entire class. This is why we ask Caymanians to give – even when times may be more difficult than usual for us. Yes, Hurricane Ivan hurt and, yes, the cost of living is high, but we do not believe that our challenges give us the right to ignore the cries of next year’s 10 million children who face death in poverty. We are able to help and so we should help.’
One small portion of the $9,000 gift to be sent to UNICEF this month came from eight-year-old Samantha Clarke. The Montessori By The Sea student is part of the new ‘Little Hands of Love’ movement (Caymanian Compass, 15 December, page 19). She asked her friends to give her money instead of gifts at her recent birthday party so that she could make a donation to a worthy cause. She chose Cayman Loves Children and gave a $100 cheque.
‘Giving made me feel real good inside,’ she said.