Today’s Editorial for February 03: Don’t forget local charities

As is usual when one of our
regional neighbours feels the brunt of a disaster, good-hearted Cayman Islands
residents and organisations have responded to Haiti’s hour of greatest need.

Since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake
devastated Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas
on 12 January, numerous groups and individuals have undertaken efforts to raise
money and other relief aid for Haiti.

Churches have raised money for Haiti; the Red Cross has raised money for Haiti; service clubs have raised money for Haiti; businesses have raised money for Haiti; even school children have raised money
for Haiti.

The outpouring of relief aid for Haiti has truly
been impressive and is really typical of Cayman residents’ humanitarian generosity
when people in the region are suffering.

Although we should all be proud of
our willingness to come to the aid of a neighbour in need, we should also
remember that we have neighbours right here in Cayman in need, even if that
need is not as dire.

The Cayman
Islands is still very much feeling the effects of the global economic
downturn and combining that with the recent cost-of-living increases is making
it more difficult for low-income families to make ends meet.

In addition, there are many worthy
non-profit organisations in the Cayman Islands
that rely on the generosity of corporate and individual donations.  Without donations, some of these
organisations will not be able to provide the vital services they offer to the
Cayman community.

Many of these organisations were
already reporting difficulties in their fundraising efforts before the
earthquake in Haiti,
and now we’re hearing that things are even more difficult.

So while we applaud the community-wide
effort to help our fellow humans in Haiti, we urge residents not to do so
at the exclusion of local charities. 
This is a time for those who can afford it to open their hearts and
wallets to local charities as well as the Haitian relief effort.