Oranjestad – A congenial gathering at the new Caribbean Clothing Co. on the Main Street, Caya Betico Croes 32, convened representatives of eleven local not-for-profit foundations, for the purposed of check presentations.
The presentations were made by key Salamander Group associates, as the funds donated that evening resulted from their endeavors, under the company’s Tikkun Olam Corporate Responsibility program.
The program, named after an ancient Kabala concept which translates from Hebrew as “the Repair of the World,” supports local foundations working on behalf of kids, adults and the elderly.
The way the fund-raising works is the following: Each client shopping at the Salamander Group stores is asked to choose between a number of good causes, on the receiving end of a percentage of his purchase.
Donations are presented quarterly, and regardless of the state of the world’s economy or the state of the island’s economy, the Salamander Group associates and its members of management forge on, collecting funds for causes they strongly believe in, in accordance to their Repair of the World philosophy.
The gathering at Caribbean Clothing and Co. explained Managing Director Jodi Tobman, also served to celebrate those men and women who volunteer for the foundations and work so hard for the community, making Tikkun Olam, an everyday reality here.
Tikkun Olam is well-established at the Salamander Group, with stores such as T.H. Palm & Company at Playa Linda Beach Resort, and the Caribbean Queen at the Palm Beach Plaza Mall, leading the fund-raising drive in collaboration with more than 50 multi-national associates, who often forgo raises, and newer equipment in order to keep the program going.
While the company has been fund raising since 2004, Tikkun Olam was formulated and instituted in 2007.
We are proud to donate a percentage of every purchase to support Aruba’s charities; it is our way of expressing our gratitude to the Aruban community, which we are so happy to be a part of, says Jodi. Many of us came for faraway lands to live here, and now feel mutually responsible for the less fortunate members of our island.
The evening’s check recipients were as following: Fundacion Autismo Aruba, represented by Dilma Arends; Koningin Wilhelmina Kanker Fonds, represented by Ivi Hernandez & Bojoura Richard; Stichting Edmund E. Harms, represented by Julisca Harms; Telefon pa Hubentud, represented by Nemesis Trappenberg & Sherman Millian; The Clown Doctors represented by Rona Coster; The Pancake Gallery, operating Art Rules Aruba, represented by Ira & Ayra Kip’s mom; The Alzheimer Foundation, represented by Robby Croes; The Aruba International Arts Foundation, represented by Stan Kuiperi and Ateliers’ 89, represented by Elvis Lopez. Two other organizations, Fundacion pa nos Grandinan Centro Kibrahacha, and Fundacion pa Hende Muhe den Dificultad, were given donations in absentia.
The evening’s best part was the moving, honest and direct dialogue by donation recipients who each talked about their foundation, and the innate challenges and hardship that go hand in hand with volunteer work, and the resulting sense of satisfaction this kind of sacrifice inevitably delivers.
Dilma described the efforts made by Fundacion Autismo Aruba, to educate and enlighten the public about the condition; Ivi & Bojoura explained about the Cancer Foundations labor to establish support systems for patients and their families; Julisca reported on the hospice care provided to terminally ill patients at no cost, thanks to fund raising efforts such as Tikkun Olam; Nemesis and Sherman told the forum about the free help line available to more than 8000 kids ages 8 to 18, with adult volunteers ready to listen every day during after-school hours, and Rona talked about the Clown Doctors visiting sick kids and dementia patients, attempting to provide companionship and companion. Mrs. Kip talked about her daughters and their initiative resulting in a summer camp for artist children; Robby talked about Alzheimer on Aruba; Stan weighed in with his dream to build a children’s museum here and Elvis shared about his successes in taking kids off the street and into art programs.
The special evening truly brought recognition to the foundations, and celebrated the success of the Salamander Group with its Tikkun Olam idea, thinking globally and acting locally.
Attending the event on behalf of the Salamander Group, associates Gabriela Ribbink, Del de Guzman, Digna Torres, Nilo Arcilla, Rowena Banal, Lina Sarmiento, Julie Partosemito, Isha Arana, Janella Gamarra, Karin Kalter and David Archer, who reiterated their commitment to social, educational and health projects.
The evening was organized by the company’s new Sales and Marketing Administrator Isha Arana, and was catered by the Funchi Gals who presented a fine selection of home-made, organic, hors d’oeuvres.
Remember that when you visit the stores, T.H. Palm & Company, The Coconut Trading Company, The Lazy Lizard, The Juggling Fish, Caribbean Queen and the Caribbean Clothing Co., you are in fact serving your community, and making the work of Aruba’s unsung heroes, the volunteers working for the not-for-profit-foundations, easier.
In her closing remarks Managing Director Jodi Tobman thanked the media for its support, and thanked her staffers for embracing her vision of a better world.