GoldenEye in Jamaica has experienced the generosity of several guests since we welcomed them to Pack for a Purpose four months ago. Below, two of their guests- Karen and Katie- have shared their experiences.
Travel is our religion. My husband and I love it, it’s a precious and luxurious gift. Every journey enriches the soul, filling us with collections of beautiful stories, providing us with sense fulfilling inspiration, and enables us to become aware and appreciative of what makes us all unique and wonderfully diverse. That is why when we travel to places that have people who need help we like to give back. We try to provide others with a little something to aid in leaving a small positive footprint wherever we go, a gift of thanks in return for the gifts we are given in visiting a country. We were delighted to discover on our recent trip to Jamaica the organization Pack for a Purpose. Their mission is simple…”to positively impact communities around the world by assisting travelers who want to bring meaningful contributions to the destinations they visit.” And the action is even easier to support them, all you have to do is “use available space in your luggage to provide supplies to communities you visit.”
We packed a bunch of school supplies that we purchased [pencils, wall charts, flashcards & games]. We then delivered them to the staff at GoldenEye Hotel & Resort upon our arrival. The goods were later collected by Jonathan Gosse – the Executive Director for – Oracabessa Foundation. Jonathan was so kind as to email us some pictures with where our supplies ended up, along with this note:
“Thanks for your generous donation through GoldenEye’s Pack for a Purpose programme. Just a quick note to let you know that I picked up the items and delivered them to Race Course Basic School which is about 1 mile east of GoldenEye. I’ve attached [a photo] to give you some idea where the items went. Thanks again!”
On your next trip I encourage you to do the same Some places you can actually go to the schools or organizations to deliver them in person. It feels good “giving back.”
Katie B’s Experience
My fiance and I traveled to Jamaica in February of 2014 to escape the Polar Vortex back in Chicago. We were lured by the sun, sand, and direct flight. Both he and I had been to Jamaica but when we were kids so it really felt like a new adventure for both of us. A good family friend of his has been singing the praises of GoldenEye for years so we thought we check it out.
My father randomly sent me a link to the Pack for a Purpose website when he found out we were headed to GoldenEye. I honestly had no idea such a wonderful program existed and am committed to making Pack for a Purpose a part of my planning and packing process for all my future trips. I make an effort to pack light and, given my suitcase was filled with mostly swimwear and flip flops, I had more than enough room to stuff it to the gills with supplies I knew would be well used.
I bought a bunch of school supplies – markers, pencils, flashcards, etc. It couldn’t have been easier to do or more worthwhile.
I find that travel is best when you truly get a sense of the place rather than simply the resort or hotel. What’s the point of traveling if you are going pretend that there isn’t a world beyond the hotel confines?! This program allowed us the chance to not only feel more connected to the local area of Oracabessa but also to know that we were supporting an organization with a conscious. It became clear that GoldenEye is a local institution which is not only crucial to the economic life of the region but also concerned first and foremost with the community is is embedded in. I am a traveler that feels stifled at resorts that act as islands totally apart from the world their employees live in; this was not the case at GoldenEye and I could not be more thankful for that.