Continuing Gordon “Butch” Stewart’s legacy of love, the Sandals Foundation has steadfastly kept marching and giving through storms, pandemics, and the passing of it’s founder. Taking up the helm is Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals and Beaches Resorts, the company founded by his father.
Just this past month, the warmth of the holiday season for vulnerable households across Barbados were a little more special following the Sandals Foundation joining the Jabez House Feed A Family Food Drive and extending the reach and impact of the initiative.
In addition to the 22 female-led families supported by Jabez House, sponsorship from the Sandals Foundation saw an additional 20 households from 2 registered charities – Breaking Bread and The H.U.R.T. (Help Us Reach Them) Initiative – receive care packages comprising food items and ingredients to supplement their yuletide meals.
Patrice Gilpin, Public Relations Manager at Sandals Foundation, said the Jabez House outreach partnership forms part of its continued effort to support the welfare needs of Caribbean communities.
“This has been an extraordinary year for families across the region. Since March, we’ve worked with numerous organizations to distribute more than one thousand care packages to help people meet some of their basic needs,” Gilpin said.
Christmas, Gilpin continued, “is a time which beckons us all to take a closer look around us and see how we can each support another. Every little count in helping to bring joy and a sense of love to those who need it the most.”
Shamelle Rice, Founder and Director at Jabez House, expressed gratitude for the continued support of the Food Drive which is now celebrating its 3rd year.
“We are extremely grateful to all our partners and families who have consistently come on board to purchase, pack, and donate to our ladies. Christmas can be a particularly challenging time of the year for many of the clients we serve and their children. Making a difference to ensure they can have a smile on their faces on Christmas Day is very precious to us,” Rice said.
Mr. Ramel Sobrino, General Manager of the Sandals Resorts who led a team of volunteers, including Resort Manager Mr. Patrick Drake and Public Relations Manager Mr. David Hinds who helped pack and prepare the packages, said the service project will undoubtedly bring a welcome relief.
“It is our duty as a resort to do what we can to serve the communities in which we call home. We will continue to engage our team members to be active change makers and engage our guests to support solutions.”
“Jabez House,” Sobrino continued, “has been a shining light in the lives of the ladies they support and knowing that the benefiting families will have a good Christmas is reward enough for all of us at Sandals.”
The Sandals Foundation has been a longstanding partner of Jabez House, helping to engage more than 60 women through targeted skills training and economic empowerment opportunities since 2018.
Continued financing of the skills training program engages Jabez House clients in Hair Braiding and Weaving, Nail Technology, Make-Up Artistry, Business Basics courses, and more.
This year, the Sandals Foundation also provided support to the Counseling Support and Life Coaching programs which provided mental wellness support to better cope with personal trauma and the evolving psychological stresses exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.