Isle of Pines appeal met

Volunteers were out in force to sort and pack donations from the people of Cayman to victims of hurricanes Ike and Gustav in Cuba’s Isle of Pines.

By Wednesday afternoon, two containers at the George Town collection point, across from the Red Cross near the Cayman National Bank roundabout, had been filled and a third was already half full. More containers stood ready to be filled as car after car dropped off donations.

At the West Bay collection point, near the police station, another two containers had been filled with a third expected to be filled by the end of the day.

‘The response has been overwhelming,’ said Elsie Ebanks, who is coordinating the donation efforts.

Since the call for much needed items for hurricane victims, such as clothing, bedding, medicine, water, building materials, diapers and sanitary products was put out after Gustav wrought devastation on the island, and throughout Cuba, followed days later by Hurricane Ike, donations have been flooding in.

Among the donations yesterday was enough furniture to fill a single container from Plantation Village, which is refurbishing its condos and replacing its existing furniture, Mrs. Ebanks said.

And an overseas charitable organisation is also sending four container-loads of medicine, clothing and food in time for the shipment which is expected to depart Cayman next week. Thompson Shipping will ship the containers to the Isle of Pines, where the Red Cross will distribute the donations.

Containers will also be filled with trailer homes which the Cayman government is donating to help those made homeless by the hurricanes. The trailers were originally brought to Cayman in 2005 to house people who lost their homes in Hurricane Ivan.

‘It’s been really encouraging,’ said Mrs. Ebanks. ‘So many people have come forward to help.’