Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Family Resource (FRC) clients enjoyed a festive Christmas thanks to a new Cayman Islands Government (CIG) initiative, part of those agencies’ annual presents drives. In supporting the CIG Giving Tree appeal, civil servants and local businesses donated nearly 400 gifts.
The Portfolio of the Civil Service, collected $1,000 in one hour to buy gift vouchers for the drive; while one civil service couple donated what would have been the value of their wedding anniversary dinner to the community outreach campaign.
The drive, on the run up to Christmas, received 310 gifts for DCFS and 75 for FRC clients. Recipients included children, young parents and older persons with presents ranging from baby items, to gift cards and a laptop. As well as individual gifts placed under the Giving Tree in the Government Administration Building’s lobby, the appeal was supported by His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper and his wife Lissie and the Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson and his wife Nuvia.
“We were greatly heartened by the overwhelming response to the CIG Giving Tree campaign throughout the civil service and by entities including the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. Given that it was a weeklong initiative, it shows the depth of goodwill in the civil service and the local community in doing what they could to ensure others had a special Christmas. The majority of the presents were on our clients’ wish lists and for some these were the only presents they received,” said DCFS Director Paulinda Mendoza-Williams.
“As part of the larger annual Christmas present drive supported by the community and local businesses, the Christmas Gift Giving campaign is a very tangible way in which we can make the lives of those we serve better,” added FRC’s Programme Coordinator Charmaine Miller.
Reflecting on the CIG Giving Tree initiative, the Deputy Governor commended the speed with which the civil service and members of the public come together to support the initiative. “From the time Rosandi Weatherford, who works in the Department of Health Regulatory Services, shared her idea with Strategic Operations Officer Jennifer Ahearn, we saw a number of civil service entities come together at short notice to bring the idea to life. It was truly heartwarming to see everyone supporting this initiative and working together to make lives better, it really captured the magic of the holiday season,” added Mr. Manderson.