ARK delivers food gifts for Christmas

Some 4,000 blue envelopes containing food vouchers were distributed to families islandwide this year by local charity Acts of Random Kindness in its annual “Giving is Receiving” campaign. 

The organization decided on food vouchers instead of food-filled bags this year so that families could choose the items they prefer for the holidays. 

Vouchers and cash donations were expected to reach about $30,000, according to ARK, which has been in operation for nine years. 

Tara Nielsen of ARK Cayman said the campaign demonstrated “the power each citizen has in making a positive difference in a person’s life and how vital it is to be involved in your community. 

“As a result, we have experienced a wonderful and generous response from the community. The private sector provides a huge amount of money via ARK, to relieve the turmoil of many of Cayman’s citizens in extreme circumstances of crisis.” 

The foundation is run by volunteers and 100 percent of the money donated/raised goes directly to those in need. The pro-bono enterprise seeks to assist people on a case-by-case basis. However, the majority of cases are of hunger, medical crisis, living conditions, utility reconnection or specialty supplies for the ill/disabled, Ms. Nielsen said. 

“To date, we have assisted approximately 400 individuals this Christmas, with numbers rising as further donations come in,” she said.  

She added, “We have had the pleasure of many hugs of gratitude and stories of mothers being brought to tears by the relief of their donation. Families were telling us they ‘otherwise would not have had a Christmas’ and would have struggled to even provide a special meal for their children, let alone provide gifts. 

“We always remind those we assist that it is the Grand Cayman community who makes it possible to prove such desperately needed relief.” 

Ms. Nielsen said the organization could not carry on its work without the “epic community support” it was receiving.  

“It truly demonstrates how much Cayman cares about those less fortunate and how this issue has now come to the forefront,” she said. “People really have begun to take personal responsibility to reach outside of themselves, their own lives, look around and see how they can help change lives, one life at a time. We can do it together; this campaign is proof of that.” 

Acts of Random Kindness distributed hundreds of blue envelopes containing food vouchers in Cayman this Christmas.
Acts of Random Kindness distributed hundreds of blue envelopes containing food vouchers in Cayman this Christmas.