‘Tis The Season to Give Back to the Caribbean

Top picture: A classroom of excited children in Grenada holding their newest toys from the Sandals Foundation and Hasbro.

When the Sandals family rings the jingle bells, the whole Caribbean hears them. The holiday season is in full swing, and for us, it’s a season marked by generosity, kindness, and empowerment of our local communities.

As the company celebrates its 40th anniversary the philanthropic heart that sits at the core of its culture, is stronger than ever, all year round and especially during the holidays. Love for local communities during this special time of the year is expressed though annual Sandals Resorts International (SRI) “Christmas Treats” events, born as early as the organization’s inception in 1981.

Picture: At an annual Christmas Treat event a Beaches Resorts guest and local student share the joy of the holidays.

As the company grew so did its culture of generosity and the opportunity to partner with the American toy company Hasbro in 2011 took the annual efforts and formalized them to supply over 10,000 toys to children across its regions each year. This year marks the 10th year in a row Sandal’s elves, and Hasbro partners will help to bring Christmas to the Caribbean. This annual celebration has donated more than 100,000 presents over the ten-year partnership to children ages three to ten from every corner of the Caribbean.

What started as Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts donating food and beverages to Christmas parties in its flagship island of Jamaica, quickly turned into larger events where children and families in all the islands of the SRI portfolio from Grenada to Antigua and beyond could gather in Christmas spirit, meet Santa, collect toys, and bask in the joy of the holiday season.

Picture: Sandals Foundation team members spend time packaging toys as early as July to be distributed to the Caribbean.

Picture: Sandals Foundation Executive Director, Heidi Clarke and Sandals Resorts International Executive Chairman, Adam Stewart share in a moment of gratitude.

Children from Jamaica, Antigua, Turks and Caicos, Barbados, Saint Lucia and The Bahamas can guarantee that their gifts are packed with all the love and hospitality the 40-year resort company has to offer. The annual program doesn’t just bring us closer to our local Caribbean families, but the spirit of giving brings team members scattered across countries the chance to unite in the name of the holiday season.

Donated toys start by being hand-packed in July by team members, including the Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts, Adam Stewart, and the Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke. Then the gifts are wrapped with love and care by on-resort team members who make sure our Caribbean children receive presents with wrapping and packaging that Santa himself would be proud of. Finally, the Sandals Foundation works closely with resort teams to organize the annual Christmas Treat events and deliver presents into the arms of nearly 10,000 children all over the Caribbean.

Picture: Children smile with anticipation at a Christmas Treat event in Grenada.

Holiday traditions and efforts of kindness aside, we’re giving back this year with the value of tourism top of mind. Amid the challenges, we refuse to stand by. We are keeping our promise to support the regions we call home, and together we’re ensuring the magic of the season is felt across the Caribbean.

Nothing can keep Sandals' elves from giving. With health and safety in mind, families across the Caribbean region felt the spirit of the holidays even beyond the annual gifts to children.

Last month, the Sandals Foundation joined thousands of organizations in the UN-organized Giving Tuesday movement, a post-Thanksgiving movement of generosity. By reaching out to our valued guests, we sought to raise funds for the purchase of grocery items or food baskets to donate across communities throughout the month of December.

Thanks to our generous guests and contributors, this year’s Giving Tuesday’s "We’re Here For You" campaign has supported more than 600 families across the Caribbean with the sustenance they need this holiday season. With basic needs and hot meals accounted for, our very own guests have helped us to turn our attention this month to joy and generosity.

Picture: A young girl in Montego Bay Jamaica celebrates the spirit of the holidays with the Executive Chairman of SRI, Adam Stewart.

Direct donations are just one way to join in on the spread of holiday cheer throughout the Caribbean.

This holiday season and all year round, guests are invited to Pack for a Purpose™, bringing books, gifts, educational supplies, and more in their suitcase with them ahead of their next visit to Sandals Resorts or Beaches Resorts.

Additionally, guests of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts can join in the joy of generosity with their next Amazon order. Guests who log in through amazonsmile.com while shopping can choose the Sandals Foundation as the recipient of 0.5% of their final checkout charge.

Whether it comes from your next Prime order, or through on resort or online donations, raised funds are used to benefit Caribbean communities, environments, and education sectors.

Picture: Children of Grenada cherishing their newest toys and the excitement of the season.

The holidays are a time for family, and the Sandals Resorts family is ever-growing. Our leadership, our on-resort teams, our community members, and you, our loyal guests, have found ways to come together in kindness, even when we’re far in distance.

We thank you, for giving us the chance to spread the message of joy across the Caribbean, this Christmas, and every Christmas to come.

Watch below to see our celebration of holiday cheer throughout the Caribbean:

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Courtney Young

About Courtney Young

Courtney is a New York based writer and lover of travel. She is passionate about the exploration of cultures and the preservation of our planet. Her Caribbean destination of choice is Turks & Caicos.