Established in May 2020 with the mandate to help the Cayman Islands proactively prepare for, resiliently cope with and sustainably recover from natural or manmade disasters and emergencies, R3 has distributed over CI$1.3 million to 21 local non-profit or non-profit exempt organisations in its first seven months of operation.
R3 Chairman Bryan Hunter says the Foundation’s primary areas of focus in 2020 were disaster readiness, and relief and recovery from the economic and public health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“R3 came into being to help those hardest hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ready our islands for any future challenges which may come our way, whether it be another public health crisis or a natural disaster. Although we are all looking forward to a brighter 2021, we are proud of how the private, public and non-profit sectors have come together this year to make a meaningful difference in the lives of so many individuals and families,” he says. “R3’s existence is testament to the collaborative spirit of the Cayman Islands community.”
Social welfare organisations, including Feed Our Future, Meals on Wheels, Resilience Cayman, the Cayman Food Bank and Cayman’s Acts of Random Kindness (ARK), were among the first R3 Grant recipients in June 2020.
Through R3’s support of ARK, Sacha Miller was able to give her children access to much-needed medical care.
“I am forever grateful for their kindness and generosity that came at a time during which my family and I didn’t know where help could come from. Everything became less stressful. My daughter was able to get her vision checked and speech therapy, and my son was able to have his mouth operation. Their help has been a blessing ever since,” Ms. Miller says.
Education, youth development and reskilling through technical and vocational training were also early areas of focus for the Foundation’s recovery efforts, distributing grants to the University College of the Cayman Islands, Build Your Future Cayman, Literacy Is For Everyone (LIFE), YMCA, and the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI).
CCMI Director of Advancement Kate Holden says: “R3 was incredibly quick to respond to the needs within the community and CCMI was extremely grateful to be able to support local, needs-based students with Ocean Science Scholarships. R3’s donation enabled students who were disproportionately affected by the impacts of the pandemic to spend a week with us in Little Cayman learning about the marine ecosystem and what we can do to protect reefs for the future. This life-changing experience supports recovery now and readiness for a world in which healthy coral reefs are more important than ever.”
Looking forward to the year ahead, Mr. Hunter says the R3 Board and volunteers look forward to continuing to work closely with donors and local charities to build readiness, relief and recovery capacity in Cayman.
“As a grantmaking organisation, R3 aims to alleviate the fundraising burden on local charities so they can focus on what they do best – whether that’s ensuring no child goes hungry or making sure our country is prepared for natural disasters,” Mr. Hunter says. “We are grateful that our community was able to gather with family and friends over the holiday season, and that so many people have donated their time, talent and resources to help make 2020 a little brighter for those in need.”
Mr. Hunter also expressed gratitude for the donors whose support has enabled the foundation to have such a meaningful impact in its first seven months.
“We would like to thank our corporate and individual donors (some of whom have chosen to remain anonymous) for their support of R3 in our first year, the Kenneth B. Dart Foundation for its initial donation of CI$1 million and pledge to match up to CI$4 million in donations, and our recipient organisations for ensuring every R3 Grant has its intended impact,” he says. “Together, we are stronger.”
A report detailing R3’s activities and impact in 2020 will be published later in January 2021 to the R3 website. For more information on how to donate to R3 or apply for an R3 Grant, please visit: www.r3foundation.ky
2020 R3 Grant Recipients
Alex Panton Foundation | Big Brothers Big Sisters | Build Your Future Cayman | Cayman Arts Trust | Cayman’s Acts of Random Kindness | Cayman Food Bank | Cayman Islands Crisis Centre | Central Caribbean Marine Institute | Children and Youth Services Foundation | Feed Our Future | Hazard Management Cayman Islands | Health Services Authority Forensic Science Lab | Jasmine | Literacy Is For Everyone Meals on Wheels | National Council of Voluntary Organisations | National Trust of the Cayman Islands | Resilience Cayman | Red Cross of the Cayman Islands | University College of the Cayman Islands | YMCA