The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals and Beaches Resorts, has kicked off the holiday season in its usual fashion, bringing holiday joy and cheer to local students.
Sandals Foundation volunteers from the Luxury Included ® Sandals Barbados Resort recently surprised students at the Milton Lynch Primary, Christ Church Girls and St Lawrence Primary schools, delivering over 500 Christmas gifts.
For the past nine years, The Sandals Foundation has partnered with toy manufacturers, Hasbro, to host annual Christmas treats for children across several Caribbean islands. To date, the Foundation has handed out over 34,000 Christmas gifts.
Executive Director Heidi Clarke said the Foundation and volunteers always look forward to the annual treats as a way of ending the year on a very high note.
“Throughout 2018, we have been able to accomplish so many things across the region, impacting thousands of lives through education, community and environment initiatives. The Christmas treat is our way of bringing smiles and joy to families one more time as we close out the year,” she explained.
Explaining that the annual events would also not be possible without the continued support of Hasbro and the dedication of the resort chain’s team members, Clarke added, “Delivering an average of 10,000 toys each year is no small feat and for that we must thank Hasbro for always answering our calls and partnering with us to deliver on our promise to the Caribbean community.
“Our team members also play a valuable role in this annual activity, never shying away from donning their Santa Claus and Elf costumes and bringing such joy to the children. Having the support of people who are always ready to volunteer is one of our greatest assets as a Foundation.”
On the visit to Milton Lynch Primary, Sandals Resorts Barbados General Manager Ramel Sobrino told students and teachers, “This is our fourth annual toy drive in as many years here in Barbados and we are really happy to be able to do this every year. The smiles and joy that we are able to bring to so many of you young ones today really warm our hearts and is even more encouragement to continue our work in the community.”
Principal of St Lawrence Primary Andrea Cheltenham thanked the Foundation for their gesture and support over the years; “Sandals and the Sandals Foundation have been with us from inception as their first [supported] school and every year we look forward to welcoming them and their volunteers. Christmas is a special time for any child and sadly, not every child receives a gift at Christmas, but thanks to Sandals we know for sure every child of our school will have a gift.”
This Christmas season, the Foundation will be hosting over 70 treats and handing out close to 10,000 toys in Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia and Antigua. PR