EDITORIAL – A day (or two) to celebrate community

A community is more than a place, it is also a feeling. A sense that, for all our differences, in many important ways we succeed or fail together.

Although intangible, that spirit of togetherness can be as valuable a part of the social fabric as a newly painted house, a much-needed bag of groceries or a beautiful new garden path.

This weekend’s Celebrate Cayman 60 Acts of Service aims to give our community a boost in both senses of the word. We urge all of Cayman’s residents and visitors to participate.

Tuesday is the final day to sign up to join a project, which can be done by visiting Celebrate Cayman’s website at www.celebratecayman.ky/60acts. There, readers will find project descriptions, dates, times, restrictions and needed skills, equipment and supplies.

At press time on Monday, there were plenty of spots available to help with any number of worthy endeavours, from transforming the front area at Cayman Brac’s Kirkconnell Community Care Centre rest home into a garden oasis, building water and trash can stations at the YMCA Teambuilding Tower and Field of Dreams, or helping to clean up public areas like Barkers Beach or the people’s monument on Shedden Road.

We are pleased to see so many community groups participating in this weekend’s initiative. For example, the Jamaica Diaspora Cayman Association will be giving the Frances Bodden Children’s Home a fresh coat of paint, the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens will carry out home repairs and yard cleanups at Windsor Park, and many other community groups and workplaces will be taking part.

The planned events are varied, reflecting the priorities and interests of diverse groups and individual ‘project champions’ who designed, funded, organised and will carry them to fruition, whether that be promoting respect, harmony and inclusiveness through an interfaith discussion, keeping children safe by holding bus safety demonstrations or fighting hunger ‘on the spot’ by establishing a network of mobile volunteers. Volunteer ‘citizen journalists’ will chronicle the weekend’s activities.

Not unlike the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in the United States, Celebrate Cayman 60 Acts of Service is a chance to show the power of individuals in collaboration. An important goal is that participants will “feel a deeper and long-lasting connection and appreciation for the Cayman Islands and its culture”, as Celebrate Cayman Chairman Alfonso Wright stated. Organisers say they hope the two-day community impact initiative, inspired by a growing global movement, will “start a culture shift of national pride”.

Indeed, we have much to be proud of. Exhibit ‘A’ is the initiative, hard work and community-minded spirit of the groups and individuals who are stepping up to help with this weekend’s 60 Acts of Service.