How to give to your local charities.  A charity match maker that fits your spirit of giving.

14

Dec

Tis the season to be … giving! With over 500 registered non-profit organizations in the Cayman islands, navigating the how’s, where’s and when’s to put your spirits to good use can leave you wondering how to get started.

To help you match your spirit of giving with a worthy cause, we’ve created a list of “what’s” to give that can help you refine your options.

Check out the list below and ask yourself, “What can I give?” Is it time, money, or do you have a talent you can give?

The good news is that the possibilities are pretty much endless, and no matter what you give, you can’t go wrong.

You can give to educational institutions, to churches, to philanthropic causes, to professional organizations, to sports teams... The list goes on.

Now you just need to choose your WHAT. Get started by viewing the list below.

After all, as the saying goes, greater is the one who gives the blessing than the one who is blessed.

 

What to give:

  1. Give Blood

    Blood is a much needed resource around the world and something that you can give without spending a dime. Here in Cayman, 500 people will need blood transfusions this year alone. A single donation from you would only take 15 minutes of your time with the result of saving up to three lives.

    Contact your nearest blood service today and learn how you can participate. In particular, blood banks around the world have seen a rise in demand for some rare blood types that are more common in people of Afro-Caribbean and black heritage. In addition to any one-time donations, there is an international panel of donors that you can register with to provide blood when there is a rise in global need for rare blood types. The beauty about giving the gift of blood is that it can be frozen if it is not needed immediately.

    Give blood via the Cayman Blood Service.
  2.  Give Time

    Whether you are giving your time to help an official charity organization or informally mentoring youth in your neighborhood, your time can be one of the most valuable gifts you can offer.

    Since the borders of our island-nation are covered by water, there are several courses with the Red Cross for first aide, water rescue, CPR, and/or lifeguard training that could prove to be worthwhile. You can learn these life-saving skills so you can help others in their time of urgent need.

    Give your time to get trained in life-saving skills through the Red Cross.
  3. Give Goods

    Giving used or new goods is a great way to give back, upcycle and keep your space decluttered.

    Lisha Watling works for a Cayman nonprofit named Blessed that collects second-hand goods. She explains, “when you bless others, you are also abundantly blessed.” This organisation was created in the midst of the COVID pandemic in order to provide families with pre-loved household items and clothing.

    There are several used clothing and goods stores in Cayman that you can donate toward or shop at. For example, the NCVO Children Services runs several children’s programmes across the Island, including a thrift store located on Anthony Drive in George Town.

    Provide gently used clothing, household items, children’s items and furniture to Blessed or to NCVO.
  4. Give Money & Gifts

    "As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled" - Victor Hugo

    Some people have time and some have money. If you are lucky you have both. However, regardless of how much money you have there is always a way to give unto others. Instead of having people give you birthday or Christmas gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a certain charity, like the Jasmine Center listed below.

    Jasmine is a non-profit that relies on the generosity of the local community for the $700,000 it needs each year to give free care for anyone in the Cayman islands facing terminal illness.

    Donate money to the Jasmine Center to help provide free Hospice care.
  5. Give Skills & Knowledge

    Are you considered a handy gal or man when it comes to building or crafting? Perhaps you are a master number cruncher at an accounting firm or a gifted sports coach. You can use your skills and expertise to pass your knowledge onto others. This is often an option that brings enhanced satisfaction and sense of purpose. Below are two organizations that have a plethora of opportunities that you can partake in based on your existing skillsets or even an area that you would like to gain more experience in.

    The YMCA in Cayman has an endless list of slots that volunteers can plug into based on needed talents and skill sets. Examples of needed skills include strategic guidance for filling committee, fundraising, and board member positions; expertise in tutoring and childcare services in areas such as sports, arts and crafts, aquatics, math, and literacy; experience in supervising events for youth or seniors; and the ability to provide clerical, maintenance or custodial services.

    Get involved with the YMCA today.

    The Cayman Islands Crisis Center has a variety of needs, including volunteers who can put their skills to work in the following areas: assist on the fundraising committee, attend to the 24-hour crisis line, pick up donations and assist in sorting donations.

    Pass on your expertise to the Crisis Center of the Cayman Islands.
  6. Give Food

    As Cayman Parent has covered, our island has the highest GDP per capita of all the Caribbean Islands, but that doesn’t mean that hunger is not a significant and continual issue in our country. Now, with the fallout of the pandemic still on our shores, the needs of those without food have grown exponentially. Below are just a few organizations that accept food donations or need volunteers to deliver food. A small amount of time and money can go a long way.

    For example, it only takes CI$5 a day to feed a senior who is relying on the support of the community for donations from Meals on Wheels, which provides meals, friendly smiles and safety checks to seniors, the homebound and disabled.

    Help Meals on Wheels provide free, nutritious meals.
  7. Give Mentorship

    “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin 

    Do your friends, family and colleagues always go to you for direction? If so, your gift-giving style may best be suited for dishing out your wisdom to youth that have yet to learn all the things you have along life’s winding paths. Here are just a few in Cayman that need your help.

    Cayman Youth Inc.
    Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands
    Save our Youth Foundation
    LIFE’s Paired Reading Programme
  8. Give Acts of Kindness

    Paying it forward in small ways has a ripple effect. Try to take conscious little steps to brighten someone’s day. Perhaps you can set an intention to open doors for those near you or purchase the coffee or food order of the person behind you in line at your favorite cafe.

    There is a non-profit in Cayman dedicated to enabling people to serve others through acts of kindness if you are looking for something a bit more official in how you approach showing your Cayman Kind colors. Known as Cayman ARK, Acts of Random Kindness endeavors to be a friend to people in unique circumstances of crisis by demonstrating kindness through loving acts of service. The focus is on improving the standard of living in the homes of the under-privileged, ensuring that no one goes hungry or homeless, encouraging and providing education, aiding children and adults in life-threatening medical situations, and ensuring any matter of crisis or suffering are eased by collective community support.

    Be a friend to strangers by contacting Cayman Acts of Random Kindness.
  9. Give Encouragement

    "Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up." Proverbs 12:25

    It’s shocking to learn that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. The total economic burden of depression, according to, Very Well Mind, is estimated to be $210.5 billion. And that’s per year! Up to 50% of the economic costs attributed to depression are linked to workplace absences and productivity loss.

    In Cayman, the Alex Panton Foundation is dedicated to helping those with all types of mental issues, illnesses, or disorders. Its primary objective is raising awareness of mental illnesses affecting children and young adults with a particular focus on anxiety and depression, which are on the rise this year.

    Help provide resources to those struggling with mental health with the Alex Panton Foundation.
  10. Give Land

    Land is our most precious resource and if we do not do something today to save it then it will be lost forever. This is especially true for the small nations like Cayman where development has already gobbled up the majority of mangroves that act as protective buffer from storms to keep the foundation of the island intact. Helping a local environmental organization with land donations could help preserve our collective future.

    The Cayman Islands National Trust owns and protects more than 3,000 acres of nature reserves and leases on the three Islands. Another organization is the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI), which was founded in 1998 to protect the future of coral reefs through research, conservation, and education. They opened the Little Cayman Research Centre where they hosted over 100 visiting scientists, discovered new species and critical habitats, and educated thousands of students and visitors about practical ways to support the health of coral reefs, which are an essential part of our ecosystem and tourism industry. 

    Partner with the National Trust for the Cayman Islands or CCMI.
  11. Give Love

    All we need is love – and it’s true. But here is a way that you may not have thought about love in terms of giving, although it still involves the heart.

    The Cayman Heart Fund helps those with cardiovascular disease by educating the public through fitness and nutrition programs, influencing public policy and providing tools and life-saving equipment such as AEDs.

    Give from the bottom of your heart to the Cayman Heart Fund.