My family had an amazing time at Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos. You can read more about our trip here. However, one of the things that made me love it even more was learning about the Sandals Foundation. The Sandals Foundation is the reflection of the Stewart Family’s love for their home in Caribbean and their way of reaching out to their extended family. Adam Stewart, is the CEO of Sandals Resorts International (SRI) but also has made the Sandals Foundation a priority by choosing to serve as its President. He receives no salary for his service in that role. In fact, 100% of donations are used to fund projects! SRI is supporting the infrastructure of the Foundation as well!
This commitment speaks to how Sandals values their relationship with the Foundation. When I listened to Adam Stewart in person during Beaches Moms, he has a passion for the Sandals and Beaches brand that only someone who loves their business as an extension of their family can have. It’s not one piece of his portfolio but the centerpiece of the Stewart Family legacy. He describes the Sandals Foundation with the same passion.
I was very impressed to learn that they had partnered with one chapter of an organization full of women I truly respect, The Nassau Bahamas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. through the P.A.C.E Program (Providing Access to Continued Education). PACE is a community-based outreach initiative designed to provide education and support to teenage mothers and promote awareness to help reduce teen pregnancy among young adults. The women I know in Delta Sigma Theta do not take their commitment to service lightly. They have agreed to join and reinforcement the ongoing fundraising efforts of the Sandals Foundation in The Bahamas in support of P.A.C.E. over the next three years. (Here is a direct link to the information on their partnership here.) You can even purchase a brick to help support their efforts here. Delta Sigma Theta’s agreement to putting their name beside an organization is an even further example that the Sandals Foundation is being diligent in serving their community.
At the heart of their mission as a Foundation is helping their neighbors. Some of their guiding principles that I trust they rate themselves upon are: How are they really improving the lives of the people they’re serving and how do they make a lasting impact? Beaches Moms conference attendees (and all other resort guests who visit) were asked to bring educational materials for local schools as an extension of the Pack for a Purpose. Carrying an additional five pounds of materials didn’t make a huge difference for most of us but does bring needed little things to the schools. Our bringing the littler things means Sandals Foundation can invest in bigger infrastructure needs.
Sandals Foundation has also partnered with Dwyane Wade and his foundation as a one of their community partners through the Game Changer program. The program will give underserved youth in the Caribbean and South Florida (my husband’s home!) access to planned sports, recreation, healthy lifestyles and family engagement as well as and activities including new camps, afterschool training and coaching sessions. Here’s a video about their Game Changer partnership.
Personally, the Sandals Foundation will be on my family’s charitable giving list for 2015. My family visiting Beaches Turks and Caicos was one of the highlights of our year. I’m choosing to pay it forward by helping our extended family in the Beaches communities be better and fulfill their promise. I could donate locally but the Sandals Foundation is helping me extend the reach of my philanthropy for my children. If you would choose to help, here is a list of in-kind donations they would like http://www.sandalsfoundation.org/projects/in-kind-donation and you can donate financially here https://dfwssl.sandalsfoundation.org/?s=0/?s=0.