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Cayman: Civil Service leads way in CIG gift-giving initiative

GRAND CAYMAN (GIS) – Civil Servants across Government will spread festive cheer during the holiday season, by taking part in an exciting new Christmas gift-giving drive that benefits the islands children, young parents and older persons.

            Launched on Monday, 9 and closing on Tuesday, 17 December, the CIG Giving Tree appeal, also seeks support from the general public and local businesses to help make this Christmas extra special for everyone in the community.

The new initiative brings gift donation drives, traditionally organised by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Family Resource Centre (FRC), under a single campaign that all government staff, the public and businesses can fully get behind.

Would-be participants are encouraged to visit the CIG Giving Tree in the Government Administration Building’s public lobby open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. It is covered in donation present tags, each representing a child, teenager, young parent or senior chosen to be a recipient by DCFS or FRC. Donors are encouraged to take a selfie or a short video clip to share #CIGGiving

To donate, simply:

–                      Select and take off a tag, which identifies a recipient’s age, gender and a gift idea.

–                      Return with the unwrapped present in a gift bag (tag affixed) and place under the Giving Tree by no later than noon on Tuesday, 17 December.

Once collected, the presents will be hand-delivered to the recipients by Santa’s little helpers, in the guise of DCFS and FRC staff, in time to open up on Christmas Day.

DCFS Director Paulinda Mendoza-Williams welcomed the CIG Gift-Giving Drive as a way of amplifying the department’s outreach work during the holiday season.

“The Department’s social work professionals provide year-round family-based support across the length and breadth of these Islands. We understand that not everyone in our community is able to enjoy a holiday season full of family gatherings, food and presents. Christmas can be a lonely and isolated time for some and for many years the DCFS has been the only ray of sunshine in some individuals’ holidays.”

“During the course of the year, staff have diligently identified those clients, both young and old, whose Christmas and New Year would be brighter if they were gifted a token of goodwill. A cuddly toy for a toddler, a supermarket gift voucher for a single parent, some toiletries for a senior, all gifts will be gratefully appreciated,” she added.

Department of Counselling Services Director Judith Seymour said: “We are seeking support for some of the families who have participated in our long-term programmes at the Family Resource Centre, and for whom we recognise that, due to some of the stressors in their lives, this time of year may present additional challenges. 

“These families have worked hard to improve their relationships and strengthen their bonds while engaging in our services, so we want to celebrate and acknowledge their hard work by supporting them in this way,” she concluded.

Head of the Civil Service and Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson explained that the idea of combining the longstanding gift drives came from Rosandi Weatherford from the Department of Health Regulatory Services.

“Rosandi mentioned her fantastic idea to our Strategic Operations Officer Jennifer Ahearn, and her proposal gained traction with several agencies quickly coming together to bring this initiative to life. This idea, and its execution, typifies just the kind of creative and innovative thinking we want to encourage more of. The Civil Service was already planning to mount an internal innovation pledge in 2020, to encourage staff to come up with fresh ways to make the lives of those we serve better. The idea, which we’ve built the gift-giving campaign around, fits neatly into this kind of thinking,” he concluded.


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