Today, Monday 23rd July, the Cayman Islands Red Cross (CIRC) launches Shelter from the Storm, a national fundraising campaign seeking financial support from the community to assist with renovations to the Red Cross headquarters building.
The CIRC building is a vital community resource and is in urgent need of modernisation and overall improvements so it can continue to provide as a safe space to the vulnerable population Red Cross serves.
Built in late 1980s, the CIRC building is the embodiment of community spirit; the land was a donation from the Panton family, Mr. Roy Grant coordinated the project with help from Mr. Jim Scott, who drew up the plans, and Arch & Godfrey built it at cost.
Members of the CIRC Board and Director Jondo Obi, recognised the pressing need to renovate as the shelter does not currently meet Cayman Islands building code for accessibility, fire, electrical and plumbing, in addition to decades of daily wear and tear and occasional disaster.
“Our building has served the Cayman community for over 30 years; it stood strong during and after Hurricane Ivan and it continues to be the first shelter to open not only during hurricane season but for any disaster,” Mrs Obi said. “It is more than just a building; it is a home for critical services,”
“We must ensure that our building is not only safe and up to standard, but also accessible to all vulnerable persons on island. This campaign is critical in helping us reach that goal as we cannot allow for further deterioration. Doing nothing is not an option as the consequences for the Cayman community are far too great.”
Not only does the headquarters building act as a shelter for emergencies, it also houses the Thrift Shop Community Outreach programme, which provides items free of cost to vulnerable persons referred by partner agencies, including government departments, statutory authorities, and other NGOs.
The building is also the main location for other services, including free weekly HIV testing, twice-monthly Darkness to Light training sessions, meetings, workshops and educational and informational gatherings.
“Hundreds of people are coming through our doors every week to access goods, services, information and training. There is always something going on at the Red Cross,”
“There are several exciting ways in which corporate partners and individuals can help the Cayman Islands Red Cross reach their fundraising goal of $600,000 and support one of the most important humanitarian agency in the Cayman Islands,” Mrs Obi said.
Planning permission has been granted for the project and, subject to funding, work is ready to commence.
“Every dollar counts; whether you are a corporate partner, a private citizen or a group of friends, your donation can have a profound impact on countless lives in our community.” Mrs Obi said.
To find out more about how you can get involved in this important project, visit https://redcross.org.ky/more-than-a-shelter/