Anyone who has traveled to the Caribbean knows how great the people are. Truly, some of my best friends are from the islands. Even though I only see many of them once or twice a year a strong bond has been created. With the help of social media sites we are able to connect on a regular basis. While my Caribbean friendships are small as far as percentage of people, it has opened my eyes to how those in the Caribbean islands live. They are happy. They may not have all the luxuries we are used to in the US, but it doesn’t matter to them. Their families are close, and their love of god is great. They don’t ask for charity from tourist, but are gracious to accept it when needed.
Everlasting Memories has been giving back to the islands since we started. One of our favorite organizations is the Sandals Foundation. It was created by Sandals Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart in an effort to give back to the islands Sandals calls home. One of the things we most like about the Sandals Foundation is that 100% of the proceeds go to causes. Most charities use money collected to pay the support staff and office of the charity. However Sandals pays 100% of those cost.
How can you help?
The first thing you can do is book your vacation with Everlasting Memories. Since a percentage of all our sales goes to charity you are helping simply by booking your vacation with us.
Here are a couple of other things you can do.
Reading Road Trip
While you are on vacation arrange with your EM Vacations travel concierge to spend a short time and volunteer one of the local elementary schools. The kids love when we visit. You can simply read the students a story or go a little further if you like. Janelle (my wife and also a travel agent at Everlasting Memories) is a school teacher in the Buffalo, NY area and she loves sharing with the kids things she does in her class room. She teaches them fun games and then in turn they teach her games they play. Janelle then brings back the experience and shares it with her kids locally. It really is a great experience, and trust me, you’ll gain as much from it as the kids do. Ask about our Reading Road Trips.
Nathan’s West End Playground Project
Maria (from our Ohio office) and her son Nathan visited a school in Negril, Jamaica. Nathan was surprised that the school didn’t have a playground so he started raising money to build one. What a great kid! Thanks to everyone who donated! Stay tuned for our next project coming soon.
We deliver cases of school supplies twice a year. Simply drop off school supplies at your closest Everlasting Memories Vacations office. They really go along way. I remember a few years ago when we delivered pencils to kids at one of our sponsored schools in Ocho Rios. Upon handing a new pencil to one of the children he broke it in half. I knew it was just a pencil but I was shocked that the kid was ungrateful. Until he handed the other half to one of his buddies and said now they both have new pencils. It made me realize that we take simple things like pencils for granted. We encourage all of our guests to drop off supplies at our office and we are happy to deliver them on one of our future trips. (especially if can find them on sale)
Pack For A Purpose
If you have a little extra space in your suitcase, consider packing some school supplies! Visit Pack For A Purpose for more information on your destination and what supplies are needed. You can then drop the supplies off at your resort and they will deliver it to the local schools!
Giving back is easy and you’ll feel great for doing it! Contact us today and ask how you can help!