Sandals Foundation Reaches Out with COVID-19 Aid

Since the introduction of the COVID-19 pandemic on the shores of the Caribbean, the Sandals Foundation has earmarked resources and galvanized the support of government, non-governmental organizations, and corporate partners to strengthen healthcare facilities, support frontline workers, and provide aid to the most vulnerable including the elderly and families in underprivileged and tourism dependent communities.

Strengthening Healthcare Services

The Sandals Foundation has donated JM $5 million to the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) as they raised a total of $150 million to purchase ventilators for hospitals selected by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) in the country.

Through a generous donation from United States Company, Tito’s Homemade Vodka, Sandals Foundation has outfitted a sterile medical lounge for doctors and nurses at the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital in Jamaica who will be responding to Covid-19 patients. The lounge consists of a sleeping quarter outfitted with a twin bed, a general space with three wipeable recliners and television and a dining space with a microwave, electronic kettle, a refrigerator and a four-seater dining room table.

Sandals Foundation supplied food and beverage for 70 medical practitioners including doctors and nurses who spent a day in an emergency quarantine operation in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, Jamaica. The meals helped sustain frontline teams as they tested hundreds of individuals, treated patients and conducted awareness activities to empower community members to be able to help curb the spread of the virus.

Supporting Communities

The Sandals Foundation also donated an additional $2 million to the PSOJ COVID-19 Response Fund to support food security and welfare needs in Jamaica. The Fund is a multi-sectoral partnership with the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), American Friends of Jamaica that mobilizes and distributes by-weekly care packages to the most vulnerable citizens and underserved communities.

As part of the $2 million PSOJ COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund donation, some 700 care packages have since been delivered to bring a sense of hope to families in St. James, Jamaica. The activities were made possible with the help of additional partners such as Food for the Poor, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, United Way of Jamaica and Red Cross Jamaica.

Working alongside local Community Development Committees and in partnership with Sandals South Coast Resort, we have purchased fifty (50) care packages of grocery supplies from the Lasco Chin Foundation and distributed to senior citizens in the communities of Fustic Grove, Crawford, Hill Top, Dalintober and Sandy Ground in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica.

Through partnership with Sandals Negril and working closely with the Hanover Poor Relief, Justices of the Peace and religious leaders, care packages were purchased from the Lasco Chin Foundation and delivered to the elderly, homeless and registered poor in the deep rural communities of Chester Castle and March Town in Hanover, Moreland Hill community in Westmoreland and the Red Bank and Genus community in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica.

The Foundation has extended financial assistance for recipients of our secondary level education, “Care for Kids” scholarship program to help their families meet their nutritional and welfare needs during this time.

Sandals Foundation has joined the outreach arm of the Ebenezer Union Baptist Church in Exuma, Bahamas to fund a food drive.  Our funding will provide food vouchers to feed 50 vulnerable families.

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By working closely with the Hanover Poor Relief and Justices of the Peace in key Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth communities, 50 care packages were purchased from the Lasco Chin Foundation and delivered to the elderly, homeless and registered poor in the deep rural communities of Chester Castle, March Town, Moreland Hill, Red Bank, and Genus.

Investing in Education and Livelihoods

To support the online and distance learning needs of participants in our partner, Grow Well Golf Program in St. Lucia, laptops have been purchased to help youths stay on track with their academic studies.

The Sandals Foundation is also helping to facilitate the distance learning needs of the “Care for Kids” scholarship recipients by providing tablet computer devices and covering the cost of connectivity so students can access the internet and continue their studies.

We are providing funding for individuals who are part of the critical supply chain to local Artisans working within the tourism sector.  These primary resource suppliers have had their livelihoods negatively impacted due to the closure of the tourism industry and the halt in sale to artisans who in turn create products for hotel resorts. The financial grants help approximately 50 supply chain workers provide much needed essentials for themselves and their families.

Future Opportunities to “Recover Better”

The Sandals Foundation will continue to respond to the developing social needs of the Caribbean by:

  • Strengthening the capacity of hospitals, clinics, and local healthcare services in tourism dependent communities;
  • Providing for the welfare of the elderly and most vulnerable who depend on the livelihoods of hotel workers for their sustenance; and
  • As part of the medium to long term strategy fund “back to school” grants to assist children/wards of workers within the tourism industry. These grants will be available to applicants whether or not they were or are employed to the Sandals or Beaches Resorts.

We invite you to keep updated on our activities by following us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


MEDIA CONTACT: 1-888-SANDALS, [email protected]

About the author

Linda Hohnholz