As the youth of Antigua prepare for the opening of another school year, the Sandals Foundation in Antigua and Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa have shared thousands of dollars-worth of school supplies with students from various communities around the island.
The resort, through the Sandals Foundation and its on-going partnership with the Pack for a Purpose organisation, receives hundreds of pounds of school supplies from visiting guests annually. While the Sandals Foundation distributes these donations throughout the year, a concerted effort is made during this time to ensure that those most in need are amply equipped with the necessary tools to begin the new academic year.
To distribute the supplies, the philanthropic arm of the couples-only resort partnered with the Gracehill Moravian Church and the Church of God of Prophecy, both of which hosted Back to School events over the weekend. It also joined hands with the Department of Social Policy within the Ministry of Social Transformation for their ‘Backpacks for Back to School’ programme on Tuesday which specifically focused on children of poor families.
Sandals Grande Antigua General Manager Gaurav Sindhi said the Sandals Foundation was happy to facilitate an avenue for Sandals guests with humanitarian interests to donate to children on the island.
“We have many generous guests who come here for vacation and are not just about relaxing on the beach and sipping drinks. They want to do their part to make life a bit easier for another person,” Sindhi said. “Some guests come with things that they want us to get to school children and others come and ask what they can bring on their next trip.”
A wide variety of school supplies, from note and reading books, pencils, pens, sharpeners, erasers, flash cards and school bags, were donated. Organiser for the Church of God of Prophecy donation drive, Ezra Knowles, says their goal is to inspire the youth.
“We are supporting children in the York’s, Villa, and Point communities and we are just grateful to Sandals for so readily agreeing to give us these items when we requested them. They are going to make a difference in a child’s life and for their parents who can’t always afford the school expenses,” Knowles said.
Reverend Jeremy Francis of the Gracehill Moravian added, “We want the children to know that there are people out there who care about them and we encourage them to use every opportunity to earn an education for themselves.”
The Sandals Foundation and other partners of the Pack for a Purpose program, allow travellers of the resorts to make meaningful and targeted donations of supplies to those in need in more than 60 destinations around the world.