Pack for a Purpose functions at its best with the assistance of the dedicated people who work at the local projects we promote on our website. It is our honor to highlight one such person, Margarita Pilier at the Grupo Puntacana Foundation. Even though I have never met Margarita in person, her commitment, her compassion, and her professionalism shine in her emails to both me and the PfaP travelers she contacts.
Margarita has worked at the Foundation since February 2008, and we have had the pleasure of working with her since 2010 when the Foundation was added as a project on our website. As Community Project Coordinator at Grupo Puntacana Foundation, Margarita coordinates the implementation of initiatives and projects that create development opportunities for the underserved local communities in the Dominican Republic.
One of our goals at Pack for a Purpose is to make the logistics of taking meaningful donations to travel destinations run as smoothly as possible. Working with wonderful contacts at the projects we promote who are dedicated to the projects makes this so much easier. Margarita is not only an amazing coordinator and quick to respond to our and traveler requests, but also goes above and beyond promoting the opportunity to Pack for a Purpose to travelers.
One such project is the Ann & Ted Kheel Polytechnic High School, which provides basic high school education as well as technical training to local students.
Recently, as part of the Community Service Day Delta Summit, Delta Airlines donated 700 backpacks containing school supplies and 28 art works to the Grupo Puntacana Foundation, totaling over 7,000 pounds of supplies for the Ann & Ted Kheel Polytechnic School. This amazing donation was thanks to Margarita’s promotion of the opportunity to Pack for a Purpose to the Delta representatives.
“I am enriched as a person and professional by working in an entity that promotes the sustainable development of the less favored communities of La Altagracia province, which makes a difference in the lives of thousands,” Margarita said. “Learning about the experiences and aspirations of many of the people who benefit from our projects, seeing their smiling faces when we help them build a bright and promising future is very significant to me.”
Another project supported by the Grupo Puntacana Foundation is a health clinic, which serves over 150 patients a day through a partnership with the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Ministry of Health, and the Neighborhood Association.
In 2016, Margarita helped the Rapp-Legrand family coordinate a delivery of supplies for the polytechnic school and health clinic, as well as a visit to the clinic.
“On the fourth day of our stay, we were met in the resort lobby by Margarita, a cheerful and patient representative from the Puntacana Foundation, who would take us to visit the medical clinic,” said Stephanie Rapp-Legrand.
“Margarita helped to make their visit to the Dominican Republic even more meaningful, pointing out where new Puntacana Foundation projects were being built, explaining the work the health clinic does, and organizing a visit with the two onsite physicians.”
On yet another occasion, Margarita helped to coordinate the pick-up of supplies from a couple getting married in the Dominican Republic who wanted to donate supplies as part of their destination wedding.
“Thank you…Margarita for coordinating with my daughter,” said CC Gagliardi, the bride’s mother. “The Punta Cana Foundation sent me the photos of where the donated supplies were distributed and were very helpful in the entire process.”
Currently, there are three accommodations on the Pack for a Purpose website that support the Puntacana Foundation: Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village, The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, and Tortuga Bay. Margarita has been essential in promoting and coordinating the delivery of supplies from Pack for a Purpose travelers to the projects supported by the Puntacana Foundation.
“Being part of Pack for a Purpose has allowed us to receive a large amount of supplies donated by visitors to the Punta Cana destination, which has benefited some of our social projects,” Margarita said. “The fact that someone bring us those supplies as part of his luggage traveling from abroad means a lot to me, it really touches my heart.”