Young Health City patients from Sierra Leone, Haiti and Fiji got a welcome Christmas treat last month thanks to a party organized by a local youth group to mark the holidays.
At the party, held on Dec. 22, Barefoot Man and Santa joined the members of IMPACT345, the Thompson family and friends, who with Dr. Devi Shetty and the Health City Cayman Islands staff and their foundation, Have a Heart Cayman, are celebrating over 150 children’s lives being saved through their program, which provides free surgeries for life-threatening conditions to needy children from all over the world.
Throughout the year, members of the IMPACT345 teen service group spend time visiting the children being helped by the Have a Heart foundation, as well as providing them with backpacks filled with clothing, school supplies, toiletries and toys, a press release states.
Beginning in November, IMPACT345 members began a Christmas drive to collect gifts for the Have a Heart kids, as well as for local children and families. According to the release, Island Heritage, CIMA and various individuals made donations to make the drive a success.
Gifts were delivered at the Christmas party at Health City and several local children in need received toys, and seven local families received $200 grocery gift cards for Christmas.
Barefoot Man kicked off the Christmas party in the lobby at Health City with Christmas songs, with doctors and staff joining in once they heard the music. According to reports, the favorite of the night was “Feliz Navidad” as everyone knew the words and sang along.
Santa, aka Josh Leggatt, arrived after Barefoot’s performance to give out the gifts to the children, and they all received photos with Santa.
Games, food and fun followed as the IMPACT345 teens celebrated Christmas – and successful cardiac surgeries – with the children and their families.
IMPACT345 began when founder Holly Thompson began visiting the first Have a Heart patients in October of 2014, and the group has grown from there. It consists of teens from various schools around Grand Cayman, and the volunteers are added to the weekly email newsletter so that they will be aware of upcoming activities for which they can volunteer when they are able.
The group also helps out and supports other charities in Cayman as opportunities arise.
Formed in 2014, Have a Heart Cayman is committed to facilitating life-saving cardiac procedures for children from around the world.
Their stated mission is to help as many children as possible.