Pack for a Purpose via @Travelingmom

Backpacks assembled for Pack for a Purpose

The boy had purposely broken the new pencil. The teacher looked at him questioningly, “I just gave you that pencil yesterday, why have you broken it?” he inquired. The boy’s simple response was, “Because now my friend can have one too.”

The Sandals Foundation Offers Easy Way to Give Back
Heidi Clarke, director of programs for the Sandals Foundation told this story, as part of a presentation about the activities of the charitable arm of Sandals Resorts during a conference at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort. The Sandals Foundation focuses on giving back to the Caribbean communities where they do business. Their focus is on education, environment and community. As part of the conference, the Sandals Foundation offered attendees a simple way to give back through the Pack for a Purpose program. This program is so easy that anyone traveling to the Caribbean could do it without much effort, and it’s a wonderful way to involve your kids in the fun too.

Beaches Turks & Caicos
In the Turks & Caicos, The Sandals Foundation sponsors two schools that benefit from Pack for a Purpose supplies, Enid Capron Primary School, serving 585 children from 4 – 11 years old, and Clement Howell High School, which serves 1100 children from ages 12 – 17. The resort company supports a total of 26 schools across the Caribbean. In addition to those in the Turks & Caicos, they support schools in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, and The Bahamas.

How to Pack with a Purpose
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 2.29.24 PMNo matter where you are going in the Caribbean, get a list of needed supplies from the Pack for a Purpose website. Adhere only to those supplies listed and note that candy and balloons are forbidden. These items are harmful to the children (access to toothpaste and oral care is limited) or the environment (balloons deflate and are a hazard for local wildlife).

Tweens and teens are naturally altruistic and my tween really enjoyed helping me pick out crayons, paper and other supplies. We packed it all in a backpack from the Sandals Foundation, but you can pack it in your own backpack, or just bring the supplies. As you saw from the story above, even one pencil is helpful. We visited the Turks & Caicos without Kids, but if you bring yours, they can deliver the goods to the front desk leaving room in their suitcase for any souvenirs they collect on their trip.