The Sandals Foundation continues to spread holiday cheer this year with more than ten thousand children across the Caribbean set to receive brand new toys and games through the foundation’s annual Christmas Toy Drive.
In Antigua & Barbuda, over 700 toys were distributed to all the 3 to 8-year-old students at the Parham, JT Ambrose, Golden Grove, New Winthorpes, Potters, Pigotts, TN Kirnon and Nelvie N. Gore (formerly Willikies) primary schools.
Toys were also donated to the pre-schoolers at Sprout Angel Learning Centre in Gambles. In addition, the 3 to 8-year-old children on the Paediatric Ward at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre were recipients of toys and so, too, were those of the same age range who are a part of the Ministry of Social Transformation’s Board of Guardians.
The Toy Drive has been a staple calendar event for more than 10 years through the generous donation from United States toy company, Hasbro and the kind support of Sandals and Beaches Resorts team members, guests, travel agents and partners.
While the customary parties will not be held, this year’s approach galvanizes the logistical support of the Salvation Army, police force, schools and local community groups to carefully distribute more than 10,800 toys to children within their programmes and spheres of influence. All while bearing in mind the health and safety protocols of the respective countries.
Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation said in light of the challenges experienced this year, it was critical to maintain a semblance of normalcy, especially during the holidays.
“Christmas is a magical time for children and this year should be no different. Because it has been such a tough time for families across the Caribbean, it was even more important for us to do what we could to help bring joy and of course a sense of hope through the delivery of these toys.”
“Our partners, Clarke continued, “have been truly supportive of our mission and we are pleased that we have been able to find a way to get these toys safely in the hands of some of our most deserving children.” Clarke said.
Toys are also being delivered in The Bahamas, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, St. Lucia, Grenada and Barbados.