Youth help Haiti relief efforts

In the face of the tragic
earthquake in Haiti, the youth of Cayman have stepped forward to help the
neighbouring island.

At Cayman Prep, students who took
part in last Fridya’s “civvy day”, in which they all wore civilian clothes
rather than their school uniform, raised more than $10,000 in a single day for
the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

 The majority of the money was raised by the
primary school, which has more pupils than the high school, but between them,
the 750 students were able to donate the impressive sum to the Red Cross.

“We do civvy days each year and
it’s always for charity,” said the principal of the high school, Sheila Purdom.
“The primary students raised more than $6,000.”

Each student was asked to pay a
minimum of $5 for the privilege of coming to school out of uniform for a day,
but some paid up to $100, Mrs. Purdom said. “The teachers also pitched in, as
I’m sure did the parents.”

Car wash

Last Saturday some 10 young people
held a car wash in the parking lot of Wendy’s restaurant on West Bay Road.

Almost all of the young adults who
took part were members of a local car enthusiast group called Cayman Sports Cars
Network.

Among the helping hands present
were Kristen Myles, Latoya Nixon, Sue Williams, Alchris Bodden, Rhian Campbell,
Ian Charlery, Tom Kirkconnell, Nikko Miller and Roje Williams.

Even four-year-old Kaiden Iton, son
of CSN member and local police officer Karyll Iton, got in on the act.

The kids washed about 40 cars whose
owners brought them in for the $10 service from 10am-4pm. In addition, various
people in the area approached the team and gave them personal donations.

The goal of the activity was to
raise funds to give to the Cayman Islands Red Cross for Haiti relief.

By day’s end, the group managed to
come up with more than CI$500 in cash. The money was then delivered to Red
Cross Disaster Manager Hemant Balgobin.

Organising the initiative was Ian Charlery,
who works as a uniform officer for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

He had a hands-on role during the
day as he washed cars, collected donations and walked along West Bay Road for
about an hour and a half carrying signs informing drivers of the car wash.

Mr. Charlery said the car wash was
the least he and his peers could do.

“I can’t imagine what  it would be like. The physical and
psychological toll on their lives must be huge, he said.

Mr. Charlery added: “The thing
about it that gets me is it could happen to us today or tomorrow,” – prescient
words in the light of the tremors that shook Cayman on Tuesday. 

“I thank all the people who
supported our cause. I especially thank Wendy’s, Automotive Art (who gave
cleaning supplies), Parker’s, csn.ky and the Cayman Motorsports Association for
their help.”

Cakes and cookies

Children in Cayman Brac have also
been raising money for Haiti by buying, and selling, cakes and cookies.

They have raised their target of
$1,000 since they started their fundraising last week, said librarian Trevor
Ebanks from Cayman Brac High School.

“It started off with some of the
kids saying they wanted to go to Haiti to help… After the hurricane [Paloma]
on the Brac [in 2008], they’ve very empathetic towards the children in Haiti,”
he said.

“I said there were other ways to
help… let’s raise some money.”

He set up a fundraising box in the
library and then started bringing in cookies the children could buy – 50 a day
– and the proceeds went into the box.

“Then some of the kids started
bringing in cupcakes… and after that, about 10 of them said ‘we could go out
into the community and collect money. We reached our goal early and will
continue to raise funds throughout the week,” Mr. Ebanks said.

All the money raised will go to the
Save the Children fund. Cayman National Bank has agreed to draw up a draft and
it will be couriered by DHL to the Save the Children Fund office in
Connecticut, the librarian said.

 Throughout
the islands, fundraising by many individuals, groups and organisations are
going on. To send details of your fundraising efforts, contact the Caymanian
Compass by emailing [email protected].

LOCALhaitiSTORY

Kaiden Iton, 4, helped clean cars as well.
Matthew Yates
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