Press Release:- This holiday season, the Sandals Foundation is celebrating its love for Caribbean families by helping some of the most vulnerable meet their needs.
In what can be described as an aptly titled fundraising campaign, Here For You, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International has raised and commenced the distribution of care packages to benefit some 600 families across the region
The activities, valued at approximately US$42,000, are being executed in addition to its annual Christmas toy distribution, and are aimed at bringing hope to families that are facing challenges exacerbated by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“There is no doubt that so many families across the world have endured tremendous challenges this past year and it has been no different here in the Caribbean. This is our home, our people and it is therefore our duty to continue playing our part and share a sense of hope to those in our communities who need it most, said Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International and President of the Sandals Foundation.
Tourism is the largest economic driver in the Caribbean directly and indirectly impacting more than two million people. While the region has been one of the best performing in its management of the virus, its fragile tourism dependent economies have experienced significant disruptions.
“We know that the income stream for many families have been reduced or completely disrupted, so for this holiday season, it was especially important for us to ensure that we work closely with our team members and local partners to purchase and distribute care packages, food vouchers, groceries and hot meals to support as many individuals and families as we can,” said Stewart.
To date, partners have included Rotary Clubs, local grocers, entertainment management companies, The Salvation Army with whom we maintain a longstanding relationship, and for the first time this year, the Rising Stars Youth and Sports Club.
In receiving her toys for distribution, Chrishna St. Brice, President of the Rising Stars Youth and Sports Club says, “there’s nothing quite like Christmas to bring out the joy in everyone. I am extremely grateful to the Sandals Foundation for partnering with Rising Stars Youth & Sports Club, this year, to bring Christmas Cheer to the lives of many children within the community. A considerable number of parents have been suffering from the adversities of COVID-19 and we partnered with Sandals Foundation to bring much needed relief to homes within this district.”
St. Brice added, “Christmas time is a magical experience for children and Rising Stars Youth & Sports Club created an innovative way, Santa’s Joy, to bring joy to the faces of a hundred and fifty children within Soufriere. We believe in the spirit of giving during Christmas time, and there must be a holiday experience with the unwrapping gifts. Every child deserves the opportunity to gain a magical Christmas experience to unwrapping gifts. Kudos to the Sandals Foundation in making this initiative possible.”
This year’s broadened care package support to vulnerable families adds to the philanthropic organization’s annual Christmas toy distribution that has been a staple event for children across Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Antigua, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Grenada, and Barbados.
For ten years, through its longstanding partnership with American Toy Company, Hasbro, more than 100,000 fun and educational toys have been donated to children ages 3 to 7 years, making the holidays even more special.
This year, through careful logistical coordination in line with health and safety protocols, Sandals and Beaches Resorts team members and partners will carefully distribute more than 10,000 toys to homes, schools, community organisations and more.
“We are incredibly grateful to our partners at Hasbro who have helped us to continue to make the season even more special for children across the Caribbean and we are grateful to our team members who never skip a beat to get these gifts into the hands of so many young boys and girls,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at Sandals Foundation.
“It’s all about celebrating the Caribbean family with a spirit of gratitude and love,” Clarke continued, “Bringing joy and hope in any way we can and letting them know we are here for you”.