A local nonprofit with a mission to perform random acts of kindness in Cayman has recently been the recipient of a major random act of kindness itself.
On Tuesday, Cayman’s ARK – Acts of Random Kindness – announced that it had received a $50,000 gift from an anonymous donor.
ARK founder Tara Nielsen said she and other volunteers with the organization were overwhelmed by the generous donation and incredibly grateful for the support.
“It’s terrific,” Ms. Nielsen said. “Our team feels very encouraged because it tells us that the things we do are noticed and appreciated and that people have faith in what we do. They trust ARK and they want to be a part of changing lives, one life at a time.”
Changing one life at a time is ARK’s motto and mission. The grassroots organization frequently steps up to help those in the community who cannot find assistance from anyone else.
The gift is the single biggest donation the organization has ever received, Ms. Nielsen said. The funds will support ARK’s charitable efforts, such as its Feed Cayman program, which helps struggling families put food on the table; and its Cayman Casa program, which helps make improvements to homes that are in dire need of renovations.
The donation has also ensured that ARK can fund the final two chemotherapy sessions for Cayman resident Leonard Maina Muthi, who was diagnosed with colon cancer shortly after coming to work in the Cayman Islands last year. While Mr. Muthi had insurance through his employer, the insurance company declined to cover any costs of treatment saying the cancer was a “pre-existing condition.”
ARK stepped in to help, raising more than $21,500 to help Mr. Muthi pay for surgery, chemotherapy sessions and other medical costs.
Ms. Nielsen said that the large donation will ensure that individuals in crisis, such as Mr. Muthi, will receive help immediately. Ms. Nielsen said the organization will now be able to help more individuals than ever before.
The organization is run and managed by a small team of volunteers who do home visits, case assessments, research, fundraising and event planning. They are not compensated for their work.
With no overheads, 100 percent of the money raised by ARK goes directly to help individuals in the Cayman Islands.
“We make it very personal, so you really see where every penny goes that you give to ARK,” Ms. Nielsen said.
She added the organization allows individuals to donate to specific causes or programs. Some people, for example, give on a monthly basis to the Feed Cayman program, while others give one-time donations to individuals causes.
For more information, visit www.arkcayman.com or the Cayman’s ARK – Acts of Random Kindness Facebook page.