Adventist Church Donates to Have a Heart Cayman

 

Representatives of Kings Adventist Church Community Services Department last week presented a $1,500 cheque to Have a Heart Cayman Islands. The donation is part of an ongoing commitment to fund the acquisition of passports for children travelling to Health City Cayman Islands for life-saving heart surgery made possible through the multi-national coordination effort by Have a Heart Cayman Islands.

Pastor Jeff Jefferson presents a cheque to Have a Heart Cayman Islands Manager Jennifer McCarthy. Members of the Kings Church Community Services Department are, from left, Tania Jackson, Marjorie Edwards, and Stephanie Jackson (departmental leader).

The Tuesday, 7 February cheque presentation marked an expansion of the partnership between Have a Heart Cayman Islands and the Kings Church.  Church representatives at the presentation pledged assistance through the church’s global network of churches and agencies to fill the need to identify children requiring life-saving heart surgery.

“At the meeting with Mrs. McCarthy we learned of this communication gap in some of the countries that Have a Heart Cayman is most interested in reaching, so we offered to help,” Pastor Jeff Jefferson said. “It is one thing to provide the financial resources to meet these needs, but if the neediest communities are unaware of what help is available for these children, then ultimately lives that could be saved will be lost.”

Mrs. McCarthy thanked the church for its support and welcomed the expanded partnership possibility.

With their help and that of many other organisations and individuals, Have a Heart Cayman continues to engineer the international coordination effort that has resulted in 163 children travelling to Cayman since 2014 to receive otherwise inaccessible life-saving medical care. They have arrived here from 15 countries so far, one from as far away as Kenya, all other options having been exhausted.

“The children who come for the life-saving paediatric surgeries are unable to get the care they need in their own countries; without these surgeries, they are unlikely to survive,” Mrs. McCarthy said.

Mrs. McCarthy said that the funds contributed by the Community Services Department of Kings Church and other supporting organisations will be used exclusively in facilitating access to and provision of the medical care the children need. “Every dollar raised by Have a Heart goes directly to the delivery of healthcare to children in need,” she said, adding: “Not one cent is diverted to administration or overhead of the registered non-profit association.”

Kings Church has dubbed the project to raise funds for the children The Kings Path to Have a Heart. The church’s Community Services Department volunteers raise funds by means of garage and food sales, among other efforts.

Mrs. Stephanie Jackson, Community Services Leader at the church, said that the department is active in a number of other community support efforts in the George Town area. For example, they help fire victims, assist in cases of emergency medical relief, and provide back-to-school supplies, food and clothing, and other necessities.

On the Have a Heart Cayman side, Mrs. McCarthy said the inspiration for that organisation’s philanthropic initiative sprang from a chance meeting more than 20 years ago between Mr. Harry Chandi, an Indian entrepreneur now residing in Cayman, and a volunteer raising funds for Indian children needing inaccessible heart surgery.

Four months after that meeting, Mr. Chandi and other like-minded individuals, including Dr. Devi Shetty, came together to start Have a Heart India. Mr. Chandi and Dr. Shetty went on to establish Health City Cayman Islands, following which, in 2014, they co-founded Have a Heart Cayman Islands

Mr. Chandi, who is also a director of the Health City project, serves as chairman of Have a Heart Cayman Islands.

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