Youth spends holiday giving back

Sophie Elias spent her Easter holiday raising money for a new basketball net at the inpatient Mental Health Unit. On Friday, she threw the first basketball. – PHOTO: MATT LAMERS

Eleven-year-old Sophie Elias decided to make the most of her Easter break this year by spending the holiday giving back to her community. The Grade 6 Cayman Prep student raised money for the Cayman Islands Humane Society and the inpatient Mental Health Unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital.

Sophie had the idea to create colorful Easter treat jars filled with candy to sell. With a little help from her mom and aunt, the self-run fundraiser was a success.

“At the end of her Easter break, after seeing the great results from her hard work, Sophie was so excited she has pledged that her holidays from now on will include assisting others,” said her mother, Charmaine Elias.

On May 13, Sophie saw the fruits of her labor when she stopped by the Mental Health Unit at the hospital to toss the first ball into the new basketball net the unit bought with her donation.

With only a small outdoor space for patients to use, shooting hoops is a favorite activity among those at the unit, but prior to Sophie’s donation, patients used a hoop made out of a milk carton.

Dr. Marc Lockhart, director of Inpatient Psychiatry and Behavioural Health at the Health Services Authority, said Sophie’s actions highlight the fact that “we can all help, irrespective of our age.”