The Cayman Islands Red Cross has closed its Cannon Place thrift shop permanently and it is appealing to the public not to leave donations at that location.
Red Cross deputy director Carolina Ferreira told the Cayman Compass on Tuesday that the doors at the shop were shut on 30 Sept. and new tenants have moved in.
However, she said, throughout this week items were delivered to the shop which is creating a problem for the Red Cross and those at the George Town plaza.
“From the beginning, Cannon Place was never a designated donation drop-off area precisely because we know from experience that donations can pile up very quickly, and that, unfortunately, there are those who will see donated goods that are left after hours as an invitation to peruse and they will open the bags of donated items and not only steal the contents, but also pull things out and create a mess for someone else to clean up,” she said.
The local charity was using the location as a temporary shop until the renovations at its headquarters on Huldah Avenue are completed.
Ferreira is urging the public not to drop off the donations at that location anymore and instead contact its thrift shop manager, Remy Imperial, to schedule a pick-up.
“We don’t want to discourage donations from being made, as we rely on the generosity of our community to be able to make these goods available to our most vulnerable citizens, but we also have to balance this out with being respectful of this space that is not ours and the fact that we may again need to rent it out,” she added.
Ferreira said donations being left unattended is not only a matter of distress for the tenants at Cannon Place, but also a reputational issue that could affect all non-government organisations locally.
“We are very mindful of this as any negative experience associated with renting to the Red Cross will make it difficult for, not only the Red Cross, but any other NGO that runs a thrift shop to rent spaces in the future if their presence is seen as problematic. That is something that neither the Red Cross, nor any other NGO on island, can afford,” she added.
Thrift shop manager Remy Imperial can be reached on [email protected] or 916-8954 to schedule a pick-up of items to be donated.