Kings Adventist Church community services department has donated $1,500 to Have a Heart Cayman Islands.

The donation is part of an ongoing commitment to fund the acquisition of passports for children traveling to Health City Cayman Islands for life-saving heart surgery.

The check presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 7, marked an expansion of the partnership between Have a Heart Cayman Islands and the Kings Church.

Adventist church Pastor Jeff Jefferson said that in a meeting with Have a Heart manager Jennifer McCarthy, they learned of this communication gap in some of the countries that Have a Heart Cayman is most interested in reaching, so they offered to help.

“It is one thing to provide the financial resources to meet these needs, but if the neediest communities are unaware of what help is available for these children, then ultimately lives that could be saved will be lost,” said Ms. McCarthy.

She thanked the church for its support and welcomed the expanded partnership possibility.

Have a Heart Cayman continues to engineer the international coordination effort that has resulted in 163 children traveling to Cayman since 2014 to receive otherwise inaccessible life-saving medical care. They have arrived here from 15 countries so far, one from as far away as Kenya.

“The children who come for the life-saving paediatric surgeries are unable to get the care they need in their own countries. Without these surgeries, they are unlikely to survive,” Ms. McCarthy said.

She also said that funds contributed by the community services department of Kings Church and other supporting organizations will be used exclusively in facilitating access to and provision of the medical care the children need. “Every dollar raised by Have a Heart goes directly to the delivery of healthcare to children in need, not one cent is diverted to administration or overhead of the registered nonprofit association,” she said.

Kings Church has dubbed the project to raise funds for the children “The Kings Path to Have a Heart.” The church’s community services department volunteers raise funds by means of garage and food sales.

Stephanie Jackson, community services leader at the church, said that the department is active in a number of other community support efforts in the George Town area. For example, they help fire victims, assist in cases of emergency medical relief, and provide back-to-school supplies, food and clothing, and other necessities.

Ms. McCarthy said the inspiration for the organization’s philanthropic initiative sprang from a chance meeting more than 20 years ago between Harry Chandi, an Indian entrepreneur now residing in Cayman, and a volunteer raising funds for Indian children needing inaccessible heart surgery.

Four months after that meeting, Mr. Chandi and other like-minded individuals, including Dr. Devi Shetty, came together to start Have a Heart India. Mr. Chandi and Dr. Shetty went on to establish Health City Cayman Islands, following which, in 2014, they co-founded Have a Heart Cayman Islands

Mr. Chandi, who is also a director of the Health City project, serves as chairman of Have a Heart Cayman Islands.

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