Guests staying at Sandals or Beaches Resorts will quickly tell you that a vacation to the ever-warm shores of the Caribbean promises to provide you with excellent customer service, endless sandy beaches wrapped in the blue hues of the ocean, mouth-watering delectable cuisines, and exciting entertainment and water-sports activities that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Fortunately for us at the Sandals Foundation, our guests have been generous enough to add to this extraordinary experience by sharing with the communities beyond the resort’s gates as they Pack for a Purpose and donate supplies.
As the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, we strive to empower local communities, protect the breath-taking natural resources and unique ecosystems that support their health, and, believing that education provides the greatest opportunities for positive change for people throughout the Caribbean, we strive to provide lifelong learning opportunities to help advance the global sustainable development goals of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality of life.
Over the years, as a valued Pack for a Purpose partner, we have encouraged guests visiting Sandals and Beaches Resorts to pack up to five pounds of school supplies in their suitcases, take them to the resort’s Front Desk knowing that they will be donated to the local communities. They jump on board right away, extending their generosity and assisting us in making huge strides. So far, these kind gestures have equated to over seventy thousand pounds of supplies received and donated which have helped and continue to help thousands of children in schools across eight islands reach their full potential. From storybooks to laptops and digital tablets, crayons, markers, pencils, notebooks, and other teaching and learning materials, our guests have gone above and beyond to provide these much-needed supplies that promote literacy, aid capacity development, and contribute to the development of a holistic learning experience for children and educators throughout the region.
The magic of our guests’ generosity has no age limit and helps to empower everyone. Young people traveling with their families to Beaches Resorts destinations in the Turks and Caicos Islands or Jamaica have organized book drives as part of their birthday celebrations and packed suitcases full of books because they want to share the magic of reading and the wonders of awakening the imagination with boys and girls in the Caribbean. In 2022, our Beaches Resort guest, Gabi Frank, donated her 10,000th book! This incredible impact was heartfelt as she shared her passion for reading with children across the islands.
Additionally, some of our Sandals Resorts guests have even linked their donations to specific interests or causes, such as the provision of feminine hygiene products and wheelchairs for the disabled or elderly. Our donors also include large corporations, travel agencies, and airline teams who pack and donate supplies. With each trip , they not only support children’s education but also young mothers at the Women’s Centre of Jamaica and the PACE (Providing Access to Continued Education) in The Bahamas as well as sex workers at Jabez House in Barbados who are being empowered to explore other avenues of income.
We have been able to do more and positively impact the lives of more people as a Pack for a Purpose partner. Now, as the Sandals Foundation intensify its effort to strengthen food security for families and communities across the Caribbean, guests’ donations of story and colouring books, worksheets, games, crayons and small gardening tools will go a long way in teaching lessons of healthy nutrition, agriculture and the importance of trees.
Together we will continue to use the power of tourism to make a transformational difference for those who need it the most.