During the first full day of our trip at Beaches Negril, the Beaches Moms had the awesome opportunity to do some charity work in Jamaica by working side by side with the Sandals Foundation to help kids in need of school supplies. We all individually brought 5 pounds+ plus of supplies for the schools. We also got to visit the schools through the amazing program called the Reading Road Trip.
In May 2011, the Sandals Foundation launched the Reading Road Trip, its first voluntourism initiative aimed at improving literacy, comprehension and vocabulary among students. The trip, which takes place every Thursday, is available through Island Routes Adventure Tours and allows guests of Sandals and Beaches Resorts – in Jamaica, Antigua, the Turks and Caicos Islands, St. Lucia and Exuma in the Bahamas – to visit a Foundation adopted school and lend literacy support to students.
The tour takes visitors on a stimulating volunteer travel experience, during which they are invited to spend time with children at the primary and early childhood levels. Guests are guided by a structured programme that addresses recognition of sight words, listening, comprehension and reading.
Doing this type of charity work hit me in the gut because all the generations of my family before me had gone to these schools. We loaded up several vans for a day of bonding and getting to know the children of our assigned school.
Visiting The School
The little girl I was assigned to grabbed my heart immediately. She was my skin tone. Her eyes were shaped like mine, her hair was done in the very same style my mom used to do mine in. She was me. I was her. She took to me so fast because I think, even though she was six, she realized on some level that we were the same. She showed off her incredible intelligence as she read books, colored exquisitely, and told me all about her family. I was so honored to meet her.
We read books, colored and wrote letters to the children of Haiti and the Bahamas that were affected by Hurricane Matthew. A care package, including the encouraging letters from the kids would be sent to the countries by the Sandals Foundation.
The kids sang us songs and thanked us, but to be honest I wanted to sing them a song and tell them how beautiful and awesome they were. Sure we all brought down school supplies for them but they gave us the biggest gift of all. Their joy.
How Can You Help The Sandals Foundation?
If you find yourself traveling to the caribbean, The Pack For A Purpose program can give you a curated list of exactly what items are needed in the particular country. You can pack these items in your luggage and bring them down with you for donation.
You can donate to the Sandals Foundation GoFundMe as 100% of all funds go directly to kids in need. (If you do donate, make sure you mention you heard it from me!) Each dollar donated will be matched!An Amazing Reading Road Trip to schools in Negril #Jamaica with the @SandalsFdn! #BeachesMoms