Crewed charter yachts in the British Virgin Islands offer a unique and personalized vacation experience. From the moment the booking takes place, the discourse between the guests wishing to vacation and the crew running the boat begins. By the time guests are ready to join the boat, a relationship has been formed.
“What can we bring you?” is not an uncommon question for guests to ask as they pack in preparation for their vacation of a lifetime. But living on yachts requires the discipline of a minimalist; you really don’t need much to get by. Crews do know, however, of some who could benefit from the generous offer.
And that is where the Pack for a Purpose connection is made.
In 2019 the Charter Yacht Society selected several local charities which offer support to the more vulnerable in the community such as young and impressionable children, domestic violence victims, and unwanted animals.
Starting with Category 5 Hurricane Irma in 2017 and followed by Covid-19, undue economic strain weighed down every one of our sponsored projects. As a non-profit organization ourselves, we know how distressing financial insecurity can be. In an effort to increase our support, crews modified their communication with guests and introduced intentional packing to the earlier dialogue. Who can say no to kids, kittens, or puppies? The response to date has been overwhelming. The reason for this is two-fold; we have selected local charities which cover a variety of visitor interests and due to the invaluable connections crews are able to make with their guests prior to arrival.
We have even had travelers on board cruise ships contact us to say they read about the programme on our website and have donations to give us.
FSN Family Support Network’s is committed to strengthening families and eradicating family violence in the BVI. Donations of personal hygiene items, basic school supplies, socks and underwear cover some basic needs in the event of having to start afresh. Receiving these supplies from our guests has been critical for this project, and will continue to be instrumental going forward.
PAW (Promoting Animal Welfare) BVI is a grass roots programme offering free spaying/neutering services to break the cycle of unwanted puppies and kitties. In addition, they coordinate a well-organized network of fosterers who offer their hearts and homes nurturing until the young puppies and kittens are mature enough to be adopted. PAWS in the AIR (an extension of PAW) arranges the transport of young adoptable animals to rescue shelters in the US or Canada where they have a better chance of being adopted. BVI travelers can submit their return itineraries and become an escort to a four-legged furry friend. Donations vary from puppy shampoo to pet carriers to leads & collars.
YEP (Youth Empowerment Project) offers the space for kids to learn how to be socially responsible friends, neighbours and citizens. YEP provides the platform for creating hope and opportunity. Using art, dance, music and other crafts, children are taught invaluable life skill lessons which they otherwise may miss out on. Donations include art supplies, school supplies, and an enormous variety of games.
KATSWIM (Kids in the Sea Swim) is the most recent project we have chosen to support. BVI is surrounded by water yet many local kids grow up not having learnt to swim. Not only for safety reasons do we feel strongly about exposing kids to water safety. We want every child to have equal opportunities to access marine related jobs whether on the water, below the water or beside the water. Just like our crews! Goggles, swim caps, and dive sticks are all the kids need to get started.
We are thrilled by our guests’ desire, even with the limited confines of space on boats, to give back to our community. Their generosity and commitment helps each of the projects we support thrive. With the kindness of our guests, we look forward to seeing them flourish.