Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, announced today the establishment of a new Haiti Relief Fund to support disaster relief efforts. A special fundraising effort has launched for the fund, with donations accepted online and at all Sandals Resorts International locations — which stretch across five Caribbean islands including Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia, the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Sandals Resorts International employs 10,000 people, of which approximately 375 are of Haitian origin.
Cash donations are most needed at this time, but Sandals Resorts International will also be providing linens, towels and non-perishable food items. Additionally, the Sandals corporate jet was provided to government official and relief workers. Yesterday, the jet was made available to provide air transport to Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, to officially dispatch the Jamaica Defense Force to assist with relief efforts. As needs are identified by the foundation’s nonprofit partners, the jet will continue to be made available if needed.
Guests staying in any of the Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, Royal Plantation Resorts and Grande Pineapple Beach Resorts are invited to make a financial donation on-property. Guests and the public are also asked to go to http://www.sandalsfoundation.org to make an online donation. All proceeds of the Sandals Foundation Haiti Relief Fund will go directly to charities working on the ground in Haiti.
“This is an unimaginable catastrophe that requires an unprecedented response,” says Heidi Clarke, director of programs for the Sandals Foundation. “The people of Haiti need help as quickly, effectively and efficiently as possible. We have already been in touch with the Red Cross to assess immediate needs and will work alongside the JHTA, the Government of Jamaica and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force in the Bahamas to get these much needed supplies to the right aid agencies on the ground in Haiti so that the victims can get the help they so desperately need.”
The Sandals Foundation has designated two respected nonprofit humanitarian organizations as recipients of the funds. Salesian Missions and Population Services International are working directly with relief efforts on the ground.
In the wake of the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Salesian Missions is working around the clock to pull together emergency response teams and fundraising efforts to assist in the relief efforts. Among those in need of assistance are those at Salesian buildings in the Cité Soleil area of Port-au-Prince. At least 500 students are believed to be buried in the rubble of the compound that houses the renowned “National School of Arts and Trades” and other schools operated by Salesian Missions. Salesian Missions not only operated schools for thousands of students in Port-au-Prince, but services of all kinds for 25,000 of Haiti’s poorest children. Funds raised for Haiti relief will go to purchase emergency relief kits, food, tents, bottled water, clothing, medical items and satellite telephones to re-establish communications.
Population Services International, an existing partner of the Sandals Foundation is mobilizing support for the millions of Haitians affected by the devastating earthquake. Funds will help PSI and its partners provide life-saving products to clean and sanitize local water supplies along with general humanitarian relief for earthquake victims as they transition from basic survival to recovery.
The Sandals Foundation will be working closely with both of these organizations as well as others to determine greatest needs on an ongoing basis and the most effective use of Sandals Resorts International’s resources to help with the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
ABOUT THE SANDALS FOUNDATION
The Sandals Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International. It is the culmination of three decades of dedication to playing a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where we operate across the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation funds projects in the Caribbean in three core areas: education, community and the environment. For more information, go to http://www.sandalsfoundation.org .
ABOUT SALESIAN MISSIONS
Salesian Missions not only operated schools for thousands of students in Port-au-Prince, but services of all kinds for 25,000 of Haiti’s poorest children. Specializing in sheltering, educating and feeding street children, the humanitarian aid organization has its work cut out for it as all children in Port-au-Prince are now street children. Salesian Missions, headquartered in New Rochelle, NY, is dedicated to caring for poor children throughout the world in more than 130 countries, helping young people become self-sufficient by learning a trade that will help them gain employment. To date, more than 3 million youth have received services funded by Salesian Missions. These services and programs are provided to children regardless of race or religion. For more information, go to http://www.salesianmissions.org .
ABOUT POPULATION SERVICES INTERNATIONAL
The mission of Population Services International, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is to measurably improve the health of poor and vulnerable people in the developing world, principally through social marketing of family planning and health products and services, and health communications. Social marketing engages private sector resources and uses private sector techniques to encourage healthy behavior and make markets work for the poor. For more information, go to http://www.psi.org .
Sandals Foundation & Salesian Missions: Hannah Gregory
Sandals Resorts International: Cristina Calzadilla / Cathy Decker
212-891-0212 / 212-891-0213