For as long as I have been a part of Bucuti & Tara Resort – which began over thirty-two years ago – I have taken great pride and pleasure knowing I was part of something bigger and more rewarding than simply a resort hotel operation.
While many of the stories published about Bucuti & Tara today involve prestigious awards and accolades, the culture of giving began humbly with our owner and his focus on compassion, community and the encouragement of all team members to participate in giving back. Our story is similar to Rebecca Rothney, who started with her own delivery of supplies on one trip to Botswana in 1971 to help children in need. Pack for a Purpose has since grown to deliver to 425 places in 60 countries and we have also seen, first hand, the impact a passionate leader can have.
From opening day, Bucuti started to develop their now award-winning sustainability program to protect the environment, soon after came Tortuga Aruba – the active protection of leatherback sea turtles. A few years later, a series of animal welfare programs were put into place including Stimami and Sterilisami, the spay and neuter campaign to reduce the homeless pet population, our healthy portions policy with restaurant food waste given to local farmers to feed the pig population and the Donkey Sanctuary awareness and fundraising activities.
However, and most rewarding of all is when our team is witness to the smiles and joy of children from our local youth crisis institution “Imeldehof” when our monthly deliveries of guests’ donations are made as a result of Pack for a Purpose. The deliveries tell these children, who have often suffered serious abuse and who are so often invisible that, they matter. They make it clear that we see them…that people from all over the world see them and care about them.
Participation in the amazing Pack for a Purpose organization was born from the passion and encouragement of our resort owner for all of us to become stewards of our community and to dedicate some of our work-time to give back. Our guests, however, have done the heavy lifting. We have participated in Pack with a Purpose for several years now and during the last four months of 2018 alone, over 130 Kilos or 286 pounds of clothes, school supplies, clothes and personal items were donated.
Photos depict Mr. and Mrs. Promisel of Brick, New Jersey who brought clothing, Mrs. Paul Chellevold of Verona, Wisconsin with t-shirts and hair accessories and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Creanza of Union, New Jersey, with clothing. Our friends at Imeldahof are seen receiving one of our monthly donations. Originally founded in 1954 by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Bethani and managed by the Bethani Dutch Antilles Foundation, Imeldahof offers children who are suffering from abuse, alcoholism or drug abuse within their family, a temporary home and counseling until placement with relatives or a foster family can be found.
Compassion is contagious. It is beautiful. I am so proud to be a part Bucuti & Tara and to have experienced all rewards the culture of compassion and giving has had on every living thing around us. I hope you will join us and the mission of Ms. Rothney, who has been a great source of inspiration and Pack with a Purpose on your next visit to Aruba -and beyond -and enjoy the good feeling you get from giving.