December 12, 2015, SAINT LUCIA – The Sandals Foundation has once again embarked on its Christmas cheer activities increasing its reach to over 1300 children in Saint Lucia over the six consecutive years of the initiative.
The Holiday Toy Drive and Christmas parties began at the Balata Government School on Wednesday, December 9 where 193 students received presents from Santa Clause and his Sandals Foundation helpers.
Over 14,000 children from across the Caribbean islands where Sandals Resorts operate will benefit from the program this year.
The toy drive takes place this year under the theme #InspireASmile where children between the ages of 3-years-old and 13-years-old in Saint Lucia will benefit.
“We are extremely grateful to our donors who help us get the toys to the Caribbean and provide the logistics for these treats, Hasbro who donates toys for all the children and Sandals and Beaches resorts who provide the food and beverage for all the treats,” said Regional Director for Sandals Resorts International – Eastern Caribbean Mr. Andre Dhanpaul.
The annual initiative is committed to reinforcing the Sandals Foundation’s commitment to giving back to the communities and allowing every child the opportunity at normal and impactful life experiences.
The Balata Government School is part of eight schools and centers throughout the island that will benefit this year with the final stop being in Choiseul in partnership with the Ministry of Education. Some 150 children in that community will be treated to gifts and a party.
Director of the Sandals Foundation Heidi Clarke has reiterated the Foundation’s commitment to the life of this initiative, pointing out that a Christmas experience is one that goes a long way in experience of a child and the annual program is one that certainly motivates the Sandals Foundation team.
“This year we have chosen to increase out level of support for this program and we are honoured to have been able to do that and deliver it to the children of Saint Lucia. It is our hope that it adds joy to their Christmas experience and encourages the spirit of giving in this a season that fittingly represents it,” Clarke said.
She added, “At the end of the year, we are pleased to share in the joy of over 91 Christmas treats celebrating the people who work with us through the year to improve lives in the Caribbean. “
This year, the Marchand Combined School, Gros Islet Infant School, the St. Lucia Crisis Centre, the Dennery Infant School, and the Roseau Combined School were all beneficiaries of the program. Underprivileged children in the Castries Inner city community have also benefitted from the initiative.
The Sandals Foundation works hard all year on projects to improve education, access for youth and community members to improved health, sports and skills training as well as environmental protection.