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Last week, I had the unbelievable opportunity to join many other influential bloggers in Jamaica for the 3rd annual Beaches Social Media On The Sand social media conference. The weekend was filled with a ton of great moments–a full recap to come very soon, but the very best take-a-way by far was our time spent with the Sandals Foundation and the Reading Road Trip. If you are unfamiliar with the Sandals Foundation, you can read all about it HERE . In a nutshell, the Sandals Foundation is the charitable branch of the Sandals Resorts International. The Sandals Foundation is committed to investing in sustainable projects within the Caribbean that improve communities and preserve the environment.My middle schoolers and I had the opportunity to travel to Cove Primary School–the local elementary school that resides about 15 min from the Beaches Resort in Negril. It was a humbling and heartwarming experience for both myself and my kids and I cannot wait to share with you the details of our experience in my next post.
First, A Little Background…….
Before our bus departed for Cove Primary, My fellow BeachesMoms and I had the opportunity to hear from Heidi Clarke, Director of Programs for the Sandals Foundation. It was fascinating to hear of all the GOOD the Sandals Foundation has done over the last 7 years. Their programs in the Caribbean have impacted over 70,000 local student and over 227,000 people in this region have benefited through community programs and health initiatives. You can see from my (very poor) slides, that they have made a real difference in the Caribbean communities.
During the presentation, you could almost hear the wheels turning in the minds of the BeachesMoms, trying to figure out how to help this incredible foundation, especially since, at the time, Hurricane Matthew was still fresh in our minds and weighing heavily on our hearts. Heidi spoke about the initial relief efforts to the Caribbean areas hardest hit by the hurricane, saying that survival supplies arrived and were definitely easing the initial burdens. But, she said, after a few weeks, the communities affected will no longer be in need emergency supplies to live, but instead need tools and resources to rebuild their communities that were destroyed. The children in the Bahamas, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew, are in need of books and basic school supplies (like paper and pencils) and in some cases in are even need of a physical school building.
When you donate, please put “Marge–Tiny Bits of Magic” in the comment section. The Sandals Foundation is keeping track of the donations, offering a prize to the blogger to helps raise the most. While I’m sure you know of my “somewhat” competitive nature, nothing is more motivating to me than kids in need. I hope you will help me make a real difference. Thank you!
*****Note: If you are donating on a mobile device, you will need to enter your donation info and hit “confirm” . Then you will be taken to a Facebook share screen, which you can skip if you’d like. You will then be prompted to add a comment (this is where you’ll add my name and blog). THANKS!!