The Cayman Islands Government’s education and community services had a robust presence at the Adventist Conference’s Community Services Department’s end-of-summer fun day at which schools supplies were distributed to scores of children. From left, Conference Executive Secretary Pastor Reinaldo Dracket; Mrs. Nicki Samuels, from the Department of Education Services; Mrs. Cassandra Fearon, from the Department of Children and Family Services, and MLA Austin Harris, who serves as Councillor to the Ministry of Community Affairs.

The Adventist Church once again demonstrated its commitment to community services with the distribution of 260 backpacks and 45 packets of school supplies to scores of children who turned out for an end-of-summer fun day last Sunday (20 August) at the Airport Park. The backpacks were funded by the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the packets of supplies were donated by member churches.

The children were also treated to refreshments, including juices, watermelon slices, and hot dogs, and entertainment, including a bouncing castle.

At a brief formal opening ceremony, MLA Austin Harris, who serves as Councillor to the Ministry of Community Affairs, represented Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is also Minister for Community Affairs. The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) was represented by Mrs. Cassandra Fearon, Social Work Supervisor, while Mrs. Nicki Samuels, Senior Customer Services Officer, represented the Department of Education Services. Pastor Reinaldo Dracket, Executive Secretary for the Adventist Conference, spoke on behalf of the Adventist Conference. The Conference’s Director of Community Services Pastor Caple Thompson was unable to attend due to a conflicting engagement.

Assistant Director of the Adventist Conference’s Community Services Department Angela Hall, left, presents a young recipient with a school bag at Sunday’s end-of-summer fun day and give-away.

In his brief remarks, Mr. Harris thanked the Adventist Conference for inviting him and reflected on his pleasure in being a part of an initiative to “ensure our young people are equipped for a life-time of learning.”

In thanking the Adventist Conference and churches, Mrs. Fearon acknowledged previous partnerships over many years with the Adventist Community Services Department. She expressed special thanks to organiser Assistant Community Services Department Director Angela Hall who has been the main coordinator of collaborations with the DCFS.

Education Services Senior Customer Services Officer Samuels thanked the volunteers for mitigating what for many parents is a real “hardship,” she said, as they struggle to provide their children with school supplies as the new school year approaches. She also noted the “wholistic approach” in combining the give-away with fun activities for the children.

Speaking on behalf of the Conference, Pastor Dracket remarked on the degree to which the Department of Community Services was impacting the Cayman community. He thanked the volunteers and reminded them of the exhortation of Jesus as reported in the Biblical book of Matthew: “In as much as you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”

In brief welcome remarks at the ceremony, Mr. Vincent Hall, who is volunteer with the Savannah Adventist Church, said that these events offered an opportunity for the church to give back to the community in return for its generosity to the Church in the annual “Harvest-in-Gathering” collection drive, for example.

The emcee for the afternoon’s activities was Ms Jewel Meikle, a very active Community Services Department volunteer, who said that these initiatives were motivated by “Christian giving,” a mandate that Adventists took seriously as they endeavoured to fulfil needs in their communities.

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