Public outpouring of support for Cancer Society after theft

Donations are pouring in to the Cancer Society following burglary

An outpouring of generosity from the public has helped the Cayman Islands Cancer Society cover funds stolen by a thief several times over. 

Closed-circuit television footage showed a person breaking into the charity’s office in George Town last week. The burglar made off with between $400 and $500. 

A couple of hours after news of the burglary emerged, a man walked into the Cancer Society, asked how much was stolen and then wrote a cheque for US$625, the equivalent of CI$500, Jennifer Weber, operations manager of the Cancer Society said. 

That scenario was repeated twice more within two hours that day and since then people have been showing up at the charity, donating varying quantities of money. 

An example of this support was evident while the Caymanian Compass was interviewing Ms Weber for this story. A Caymanian woman arrived at the office carrying a plastic bottle filled with coins and dollar bills, saying it was her piggy bank and she wanted to give it to the Cancer Society, which had previously helped her sister when she was suffering from cancer. 

“You see what I mean,” Ms Weber said. “This kind of thing has been happening all week. It’s been incredible.” 

Much of the money stolen had been raised from the sale of Christmas cards drawn by students at St. Ignatius School. Those cards have been in big demand since the burglary happened, Ms Weber said. 

As well as cash, the thief made off with cheques and Foster’s Food Fair vouchers for a patient with financial needs. “The thief literally stole food vouchers for one of our terminally ill patients,” the operations manager said. 

“I want everyone to know that just as we knew this is a generous community, this is a community full of caring, giving, wonderful people who really do want to help. I’m not surprised people have turned up to make donations, but I can honestly say I was incredibly touched,” Ms Weber said. 

Her first indication of the reaction of the public to the break-in came when she appeared on the Rooster radio call-in show when callers starting to say they would come by the office to give donations. 

“After I got back from the radio station to the office, the doorbell went ring, ring, ring for the next two hours. Three people within two hours walked in and said ‘I heard what happened … How much did they take?’, and I said $400 to $500 and they whipped out their chequebooks and said ‘Here’,” Ms Weber said. 

The charity usually does not keep money on the premises, but the break-in happened on a busy day when several donations for various elements of the charity was received, Ms Weber said.  

No one has been arrested in connection with the break-in and burglary, which happened around 3am on Monday, 10 December. 

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