EDITORIAL – An island-wide ‘Thank You’ to the HospiceCare donor

“Every bit helps,” we are told by groups raising money for charitable causes. That’s absolutely true.

Every child’s penny drive, every coin clinked into a collection tin, every charitable 5k registration fee and banquet table sponsorship generates funds for worthy causes, helping to strengthen our community and provide help for those in need.

Cake bakes and car washes are welcome and expressions of the best of our instincts – to help, to do what we can for others – but large donations, by definition, must come from people of means. And fortunately for us in Cayman, we have many among us who possess both oversize bank accounts – and hearts to match. The Dart family, and their organizations and foundations, come first to mind. Their generosity seems almost boundless.

Another philanthropist who deserves recognition, but clearly isn’t seeking it, is the donor who has contributed $1 million to Cayman HospiceCare – anonymously.

The gift represents one-third of the estimated $3 million cost of HospiceCare’s new 6,000-square-foot purpose-designed building that combines administrative offices and inpatient palliative care.

The US$1 million gift is the largest anonymous donation HospiceCare has ever received. According to the group, the donor chose to remain anonymous “in order to focus the public’s attention on Cayman HospiceCare and the work being undertaken by the organization.”

If, by chance, you don’t have a million dollars at your disposal, an alternative, as HospiceCare champion Derek Haines demonstrated so well, is to raise it. Haines ran a series of grueling marathons and raised more than $1 million in 2014, again to benefit Cayman HospiceCare.

A fact that is too often lost amid the crossfire of populist class warfare is that before a person can bequeath substantial funds to a good cause, that donor must first have inherited or earned their wealth – usually in one business enterprise or another. Cayman is the beneficiary of having more than its share of wealthy – and generous – “HNW’s” (high-net-worth individuals) who share their good fortune with those less fortunate. Some are native-born Caymanians; many are not; and most are unknown to the general public.

Many corporations in Cayman, too, deserve to be part of this conversation. We can, but won’t, list dozens of companies that are constantly asked for donations to support worthwhile local causes – and can be counted on to write the requisite checks.

At the other end of the “generosity spectrum” are the most disenfranchised and cynical among us. They can be identified by their messages, which usually share a common theme: “They’re rich; it’s easy for them to give” or “They should have given more” or, perhaps even worse, “They only give because they want something in return.”

The good news is that while this minority is loud, it is also small and certainly not representative of these generous and caring islands.

It is certainly true that not everyone can afford to donate $1 million, but we are grateful to those who can – and actually do. And to the gentleman, or gentle lady, who so magnanimously gave the gift to HospiceCare, may we, on behalf of our readers and our islands, say a heartfelt and genuine “thank you.”

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