We are proud to announce our new collaboration with The Sandals Foundation, the non-profit arm of Sandals Resorts International, for its Pack for a Purpose® program. This partnership will further assist travelers to Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts, who wish to bring along much-needed supplies for the resort company’s locally-supported schools in the Caribbean. The partnership also comes at a crucial time when support is needed for the current relief and rebuilding efforts in the region following Hurricane Matthew.
Over the next twelve months, School Specialty has committed its support to students and teachers in The Islands with a donation of educational supplies valued at US$150,000. First priority has earmarked a portion of these supplies across The Bahamas, including the Out Islands, for hurricane relief efforts. The assorted products will range from well-known and trusted brands in the market, as well as SSI’s own proprietary offerings such as Abilitations®, Califone®, Childcraft®, Classroom Select®, EPS®, Frey Scientific®, Premier™, Sax®, School Smart®, and Sportime® featuring SPARK™.
Following a number of consultations and enlightening discussions with educators in country, the School Specialty team has also curated an assortment of classroom resources and tools that are critically needed by teachers and their students on The Islands. Together, they developed an assortment of pre-assembled backpacks filled with fundamental items for different grade levels, including art supplies, pens and pencils, notebooks and paper, various accessories such as calculators, rulers, staplers, scissors, and more. Now, guests staying at any of the Sandals and Beaches Resorts will be invited to Pack for a Purpose and purchase their supplies — for those in need as well as for their own use – through a dedicated SSI website.
“School Specialty is a leader in delivering innovative curriculum materials, supplies and furnishings that help foster vital 21st century learning environments and skills, and we’re thrilled to have them on board as a partner in support of such an important initiative as Pack for a Purpose,” stated Heidi Clarke, Director of Programs for The Sandals Foundation. “This is an especially important time during our collaboration when The Bahamas have suffered tremendous destruction by Hurricane Matthew and need our help in providing essential materials and supplies for their rebuilding efforts. We’re so grateful to have a partner in School Specialty that can bring the kinds of resources children in classrooms across these affected islands and the wider Caribbean region need for a strong educational foundation. We look forward to our relationship growing and creating a better tomorrow for our young learners and future leaders.”
Since 2012, the Sandals Foundation has been a key collaborator in the non-profit Pack for a Purpose program that encourages travelers to bring up to 5 pounds of needed supplies in their suitcases to meet the needs of people in nearby underdeveloped regions. All Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts in Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia, The Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados and Turks and Caicos serve as participating destinations for the program and have collected and distributed thousands of pounds of needed materials to the many educational institutions which the Sandals Foundation supports.
“We are very excited to be partnering with the Sandals Foundation for the Pack for a Purpose initiative! Their mission aligns with School Specialty’s own values to do what’s right, to lead with action and do our best in helping and inspiring our neighbors around the world,” said Joseph M. Yorio, President and Chief Executive Officer of School Specialty. “This holds true particularly during those times when we must come together to help do what we can to support each other in crises, as we see with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Together with Sandals and Beaches Resorts’ guests, we look forward to providing top-quality learning supplies and equipment that enable meaningful educational experiences and have a transformative impact on the thousands of children and their communities throughout the Caribbean, where The Sandals Foundation calls home.”
The Sandals Foundation and School Specialty partnership was announced at Social Media On the Sand at Beaches Negril on October 26-30, which was attended by a number of special guests including event sponsors and influential media bloggers, who sought to sharpen their social media skills with immersive and empowering sessions.