For many people Christmas is, as the song goes, “the most wonderful time of the year.” However, for people living in poverty, or who are sick or alone, Christmas can be a particularly hard time of the year.
In addition to purchasing gifts for family and friends, why not give a stranger a gift this Christmas? There are many families struggling simply to put food on the table, let alone purchase gifts, and your donation could make all the difference. It’s easy to give to less fortunate members of the community this Christmas, with various organisations and individuals running Christmas drives. These are just some of the ways you can help:
Giving is Receiving
Local charity Acts of Random Kindness is once again running the Giving is Receiving food drive, which aims to provide poorer families with groceries, household goods and even some gifts over the holiday season.
ARK has compiled a shopping list of useful items, and their blue shopping bags have been distributed around the island, so that all donors need do is fill the bag with suggested groceries, unwrapped gifts or food vouchers from local supermarkets and drop it at the Discovery Centre at Camana Bay. Gift certificates that would be suitable for older children or teenagers are also appreciated.
All donations will be sorted and distributed to the families in greatest need. The drive ends Friday, 14 December.
Cayman Watercolours calendar
When you purchase the Cayman Watercolours calendar, the National Council of Voluntary Organisations and Cayman HospiceCare benefit directly. Thanks to the generosity of artist Annette Zalewski, who painted all the pictures specifically for the calendar, and Greenlight Re for its funding, 100 per cent of proceeds go to these charitable causes.
Give a child a gift
The Wish Tree in the Discovery Centre at Camana Bay is decorated with suggested gift ideas for boys and girls ages 11 to 17. Members of the community can purchase one of the suggested gifts thereby ensuring a child or teenager somewhere has a gift to unwrap on Christmas day. Gifts will be distributed among children identified by the CAYS Foundation and the Department of Children and Family Services. Gifts can be donated until 22 December.
Seventeen-year-old student Victoria Bise has been holding a toy drive to collect Christmas gifts for less fortunate children in Cayman every Christmas for the past five years. This year is no different, and she welcomes donations of Christmas gifts for children and teenagers which will be distributed to the less fortunate in Cayman. Donations can be delivered to the Customs Agency on Godfrey Nixon Way until 16 December.
When you purchase a special $1 North Pole postage stamp at Mail Boxes Etc, proceeds from the sale of stamps will benefit Feed Our Future, the charitable organisation that works to ensure all schoolchildren in Cayman receive a hot nutritious school lunch daily. Stamps will be on sale until 24 December.
At the pump
When you purchase fuel at Esso gas stations up until 28 December, for every gallon you pump, 5 cents will be donated on your behalf to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society’s Help Us Help fund. Donations will help with provision of medical equipment, prosthetics, financial assistance and educational material for those in need.
Toys for Tots
Although the Cayman Islands Motorcycle Riders main toy drive took place last weekend, toys for boys and girls ages 2 to 12 can still be dropped off at Cost-U-Less, LIME, Priced Right, The Book Nook, Scotiabank (downtown) CUC and SaxonMG until 12 December.
All Camana Bay merchants have collection boxes in store and all donations will be distributed between participating charities and organisations. Donation boxes will remain in stores until 4 January.
The William Pouchie Memorial United Church in North Side is collecting non-perishable food to be distributed to those most in need in the community during Christmas. Items will be collected the morning of Sunday, 16 December.
If your organisation is collecting Christmas items for others, let us know. Send an e-mail to [email protected]