Rotary to help Paloma victims

| 02/02/2009

(CNS): Residents of the Sister Islands who are still struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Paloma may now turn to the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac and the Rotary Clubs of Grand Cayman for assistance. Hurricane Paloma Application for Assistance forms are available immediately in post offices located on the Sister Islands and from any Cayman Brac Rotarian. Joey Hew, Country Chair for Disaster Recovery, has informed the Brac Rotarians that approximately $100,000 is available at this time for disaster relief.

According to Rotary, the application form is a simple, one-page document requesting only basic information, such as the location of the damaged property, other sources of anticipated assistance (including insurance), a brief description of the damage, and a statement that outlines the kind of assistance being sought from the Rotarians. If the person needing assistance is unable to obtain a form, the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac will gladly accept a letter that provides the requested details and contact information for the applicant.

Hurricane Disaster Committee Chair Andrea Stevens notes that the brevity of the form was specifically intended to encourage homeowners on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman to utilize the help being offered. “We were especially concerned that the elderly would find a long, complicated form intimidating. This short form gets right to the point, with no need to reveal the homeowner’s private financial information.”

Brac Rotary President Alphonso Gayle proudly salutes the fundraising efforts spearheaded jointly by the Rotary Clubs of Grand Cayman. “Thanks to the Rotarians of Grand Cayman and their quick response to our plight, funds and labor are now available to assist the storm stricken residents of the Sister Islands. The Rotarians of Cayman Brac are seeking out those people in our community who were hardest hit by Hurricane Paloma and making certain that they have access to the help we can offer.”

Applicants for assistance are encouraged to pick up an application at any Sister Islands post office or from any Cayman Brac Rotarian. After completing the form, the homeowner should mail it to The Rotary Club of Cayman Brac, P.O. Box 127, Cayman Brac KY2-2101. A letter will then be sent to each applicant acknowledging the request for assistance and a Rotarian will make arrangements to visit the homeowner’s property to take photographs and gather additional details.

Recovery assistance will be determined on a case-by-case basis, with priority given to those most in need. In some instances the help provided to homeowners may be in the form of financial support, physical labor, or both. President Alphanso notes, “As Rotarians, we strive to put Service before Self. So now we encourage the residents of the Sister Islands to submit an application for assistance and allow us to help them shoulder the burdens that Hurricane Paloma created.”

Photo: Andrea Stevens and Alphonso Gayle

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