Created five years ago to improve the lives of people in communities where Sandals and Beaches operate, the Sandals Foundation focuses on three major pillars – education, community and the environment. Over the past few months, the organization has continued to enrich the Caribbean through a wide variety of initaitives involving guests, travel agents, travel industry partners, and Sandals and Beaches team members alike. Read below to find out more about these special projects and how you can get involved during your next Luxury Included Vacation.
Streak it Blue: You are invited to sponsor a child for the Foundation’s inaugural “Streak it Blue” 5k Fun Run and After-Party in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Taking place May 24, Streak it Blue is a special event to benefit the SickKids- Caribbean Initiative (SCI), an initiative that the Sandals Foundation recently donated $180,000 to in support of enhanced pediatric cancer and blood disorders care. Founded in partnership with Toronto’s renowned Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), the SCI allows medical professionals in the Caribbean to connect with SickKids oncologists and hematologists to collaborate on treatment options, facilitates training and education to support the early identification of children affected by cancers and serious blood disorders. Sponsorships cost $30 per child and will allow that child the opportunity to participate in the 5k run as well as the kiddie after-party featuring bouncy castles, hot dogs, cotton candy and ice cream. For more information, visit www.streakingitblue.com.
New Library and Computer Center for Jamaican Students: The Sandals Foundation, along with key travel industry sponsors Unique Vacations Ltd, LoyaltyOne Air Miles and Tropicars, built a brand new, state-of-the-art library and computer center at the Kings Primary and Infant School near to Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa in the Jamaican parish of Westmoreland. The Foundation and its partners invested a total of $54,540 into the project that provides the schoolchildren with a computer lab outfitted with 15 computers and 2000 books. “We are simply overjoyed by the generosity of the Sandals Foundation and their partners. This magnificent facility will be the catalyst for improved performance in literacy and numeracy throughout the entire school and will serve to enhance and develop the technological skills of our 178 students," said principal Carlton Forrest.
Sandals Foundation Easter Football Camp: Travel industry partner, Honeymoon Wishes, also made dreams come true when they partnered with the Sandals Foundation to send students from the Flanker Primary & Junior High school in Montego Bay, Jamaica to football – soccer to an American audience – camp! The Sandals Foundation Easter Football Camp, which took place from April 22 to 26, featured legendary players including former national players Steve Bucknor and Warren Barrett, along with coaches Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis and Stephen Hood. The camp focused not only on the fundamental skills of the sport, but also included motivational talks and discussions about conflict resolution and the importance of discipline, self-control and education. At the end of the camp, the school also received football gear donated by the Sandals Foundation.
Environmental Awareness Month: More than 8,000 students, community members, and Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts team members and guests participated in a wide array of environmental initiatives that took place in the Caribbean as part of the Sandals Foundation’s recognition of April as Environmental Awareness Month. The Sandals Foundation organized 16 outreach activities across the islands of Antigua, The Bahamas, Grenada, Turks & Caicos and Jamaica. Highlights included marine-oriented Reading Road Trips at Foundation-adopted schools; interactive sessions focusing on endangered turtles and other marine life at the Flanker Resource Centre and Kings Primary School in Jamaica; activities such as turning trash into art at the Edward Garthling Youth Centre and a lesson on coral reefs at the Grace Bay Beach in Turks & Caicos; lessons on endangered species and Grenada Dove conservation awareness in Grenada; as well as a session on the importance of ridding our waters of the invasive lionfish, and beach cleanup in The Bahamas.
Conch Conservation in the Bahamas: If you can’t imagine visiting the Bahamas without the pleasure of eating conch, the Sandals Foundation is doing its part to preserve this species with a recent donation of 15,500 to the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) for conch conservation. This donation complements an installment of US$15,000 made last year for the ongoing effort to educate audiences about why conch conservation and preservation is vital to the Bahama’s economic and environmental future.
The Sandals Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was created to continue and to expand upon the philanthropic work that Sandals Resorts International has undertaken. It is the culmination of three decades of dedication to playing a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where they operate across the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation funds projects in three core areas: education, community and the environment. One hundred percent of the monies contributed by the general public to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programs benefiting the Caribbean community.
To learn more about the Sandals Foundation, visit online at www.sandalsfoundation.org.