Sandals delivers 10,000 toys for Christmas
Sandals Foundation Montego Bay ambassadors Andre Campbell and Pauline Miller were in character at a Sandals Foundation Christmas Treat at Hague Infant School in Trelawny.
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 thousands of children across the Caribbean.
Sandals Foundation volunteers from the Luxury Included® Sandals and Beaches Resorts have been busy since November delivering toys and hosting Christmas treats at schools across the Caribbean.
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 110,000 Christmas gifts to children in schools, hospitals and state care.
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Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke, said the foundation and volunteers always look forward to the annual treats as a way of ending the year on a 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,” Clarke said.
Clarke added that the annual events would also not be possible without the continued support of their partners Hasbro and the dedication of the resort chain’s team members.
“Delivering on 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," she said.
"Our team members also play a vital 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.”
The Sandals Foundation kicked off their treats in Jamaica on November 28 with a stop at Exchange All-Age School in St. Ann where volunteers, accompanied by over 100 travel agents brought early Christmas cheer to the 400 students enrolled at the institution. The travel agents were on the island for Sandals Resorts International’s annual STAR Awards.
An overjoyed Gina Ginn, a Travel Agent from Alabama, USA, said, “This day I will always remember. The children are so loving and grateful. I think I had more fun interacting with them. I was stationed at the reading corner and it was a pleasure to be reading with them,”
She added, “Each batch of students greeted us politely took off their shoes and sat beside us and followed instructions so well. They are good readers too – all of them. I just love them. On my next visit to this region, I will be back to visit.”
This Christmas season, the Foundation will be hosting over 70 treats and will be handing out 9926 toys in Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia and, Antigua.