Sabrina Stewart, a student at Gulliver Preparatory School and the daughter of Caribbean Hotelier, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, found a different way to spend the summer. She’s combining a vacation trip with donating cash and supplies to support local school kids and young women in Jamaica.
Instead of simply packing her suitcase with trendy sunglasses and bikinis in preparation of sun, sea and sand, Sabrina decided with four of her friends to pack much-needed supplies for local schools and pregnant teenagers in support of the Sandals Foundation, the non-profit arm of Sandals Resorts International. An advocate for “Voluntourism” Sabrina arranged the trip as a result of monies raised through her personal crowdfunding campaign. Young Stewart launched a GoFundMe campaign with the objective of raising funds for several educational projects she pinpointed in Jamaica and has successfully raised a combined value of $7500 US in cash and in-kind donations.
Sabrina is not new to the world of philanthropy. Growing up visiting the Caribbean over the years, Stewart has demonstrated a commitment to volunteering while on vacation. Now serving as the Chief Teen Officer of TAP, Sabrina spearheads Beaches’ source for teen intelligence and helps create unique programming for the brand. It was from this demonstration of altruism that helped her realize that teenagers also have a desire to positively impact the lives of others.
This passion paved the way for the initiation of a Beaches Resort ‘volunteenism’ programme which falls under the volunteer umbrella of Island Impact, a partnership between Island Routes Tour Company and Sandals Foundation. Volunteenism encourages young students to give back on vacation while earning high school service hours. Opportunities include Pack for Purpose, in which volunteers pack a backpack full of school supplies to donate or Reading Road Trip, a literacy program supporting locally adopted schools where teens can visit and read to local kids.
These programs came to life on Friday, June 17, as Sabrina, her friends and the Sandals Foundation teamed up to present the donations which benefited two projects at the western point of the island. The two institutional beneficiaries were Cove Primary All Age School and
The Women’s Centre of Jamaica. The Cove All Age School’s library received a facelift as the teens engaged in painting, building of shelves and donations of chairs, tables, filing cabinets and five hundred (500) books amongst other things. The students of The Women’s Centre of Jamaica, which caters to pregnant teenagers, received ‘Care packages’ stocked with baby supplies and maternity apparel as well as makeup and other feminine products.
The Sandals Foundation proudly partners one hundred percent on this initiative and hopes that this demonstration of selflessness from the teenagers will encourage other young persons to be of similar purpose.
Beaches Resorts has three locations in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica and is part of family-owned Sandals Resorts International (SRI). For information about Beaches Resorts visit www.beaches.com.
The Sandals Foundation is the 501(c)(3) non-profit arm of SRI) and was created to continue and expand upon the charitable work that Sandals Resorts International has undertaken since its founding in 1981 to play a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where SRI operates throughout the Caribbean. To learn about the Sandals Foundation, visit online at www.sandalsfoundation.org.