Christmas Party With The Sandals Foundation at Beaches Turks & Caicos

I'm currently down at Beaches Turks and Caicos for the 2013 Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (STAR) Awards.  It's such an important event for our agency as we do so much of our business with the Sandals Resorts & Beaches Resorts brands.  On top of the multiple events that we are invited to attend during the week we are here, one of the most important to us was the Sandals Foundation's Christmas Party.

For those who aren't familiar, the Sandals Foundation is Sandals Resorts' totally transparent not-for-profit organization that gives back to the local communities in the Caribbean.  Since it was started in 2009, the foundation has brought in $12.6 Million (US dollars) that has been used to build and supply schools, provide medical care, and give to all those in need in the communities that surround their resort chains throughout the Caribbean.

Our agency is an avid support of the Sandals Foundation.  You'll see a paragraph of instructions on how to get involved provided on the three page "Welcome Letter" that we send all of our clients before they travel.   

Our agents participate in the partnering "Pack For A Purpose" organization, every time they visit a resort-- in which we bring down school supplies to donate to the local schools.   
Carry on full of school supplies & toys for the kids

We participate in T.A.G.-- or Travel Agents Giveback-- which allows us to donate portions of our commission to the Sandals Foundation.  

When we can, we also take part in the Reading Road Trips which are set up through the Island Routes tour company and allow guests of the resorts to visit local schools and interact with the children.   We're honored to take advantage of each opportunity given to us by the Sandals Foundation.

Since STAR awards are located so close to Christmas time, the Sandals Foundation sets up a Christmas Party allowing us to bring Christmas presents down to the children from the local schools and spend a few hours of our morning getting to know all of them.   

At home wrapping presents for the kids

This trip was the first time we had been able to participate in this wonderful event, and we were so glad that we did!

Our morning with the kids started with a coloring to help "break the ice".  

Then we moved on to dancing to some of their favorite songs like "Moved Like Jagger" and "Gangnam Style".  Their faces lit up when the music started and they were all able to dance around on stage for us.   

Then there were some contests followed by Santa coming to distribute the presents.  

Once the presents were distributed, the children came back to their seats and immediately began asking us to help them open their toys and game boards.  For the next hour we enjoyed playing games like Connect Four and putting puzzles together.  

Our new buddy Jada, beating me at Connect 4! (Hey, I was rusty...) ;)

Rob explaining how to play Battleship, a game we bought.

Then, the children from the schools took turns singing songs to us as a thank you, before Zoe came out to say goodbye to them all!   Their faces lit up when they saw Zoe, I think even more so than when they saw Santa! :)

Bryce was shy about hugging Zoe, but I promised him I'd stay close. :)

All in all it was a wonderful morning and the children went home with lots of cool gifts to share with their brothers and sisters!

I can't thank the Sandals Foundation enough for all the amazing things they do.  If you don't already participate in giving back to this organization, check out our website for more information on how you can:!give-back/cmnp

And for those of our clients who already do, then on behalf of My Paradise Planner and the Sandals Foundation, THANK YOU!

           Kira Solomon  
Owner & Sandals Resorts Top Specialist
           888-FREE-MPP x700    
        Florida Seller of Travel # ST 38227 

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