Within days of Hurricane Matthew, the Sandals Foundation mobilized help to give an immediate response to the Caribbean families whose lives were severely disrupted. The Foundation created a special Hurricane Relief Fund which is 100% dedicated to relief efforts for Haiti and The Bahamas. Hurricane Matthew, the most destructive hurricane in a decade of the Caribbean’s history made passage through Haiti and Bahamas in close succession during the first week of October. In its wake were an alarming death rate and massive destruction to homes and properties in both islands.
The Sandals Foundation’s online donation portal affords individuals and organisations across the globe an opportunity to help their Caribbean neighbours. Worldwide representatives, travel partners, resorts and team members across Sandals Resorts International have joined forces to support this fund.
The Foundation has forged numerous partnerships with local organisations and international entities that are working on the ground in both locations to assist the living conditions of those citizens most affected by the tumultuous hurricane.
Partnerships and efforts to date in Haiti include:
Provision of clothing for 400 orphans who have been left destitute after the passing of the storm in partnership with Haiti Broilers and Global Orphan Project.
Food, water and building materials provided for the Salesian Missions who are working to provide assistance to community members in Le Cayes as well as providing up to 3,000 meals daily for orphans.
Funding for the provision of transportation, tools, fuel and equipment for experienced disaster relief volunteers to assist with clean-up and critical infrastructure repairs to impacted communities throughout the south-west of Haiti. Coordinating efforts with a number of local partners, including the St Boniface Hospital, for clean-up and repairs to expedite the reopening of medical clinics, schools, and other community spaces. These efforts are made possible through a partnership with All Hands Volunteers.
Purchases of 205,000 Aqua Tabs for water sterilization for distribution in areas highly susceptible to the spread of cholera with Population Services Inc. and the Ministry of Health Haiti.
Population Services Inc. and Salesian Missions have been faithful partners of the Sandals Foundation during times of disaster relief as they first forged an alliance with the Foundation to support relief efforts following the 2010 Haiti hurricane.
Partners and relief efforts to date in the Bahamas include:
Assisting the Senior Citizens of Bains and Grant’s Town with building materials for reroofing in partnership with St Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk.
Funding for 10 relief flights to North Andros and Grand Bahama to distribute items purchased by the Foundation such as baby formula, water, diapers, toiletries, mosquito repellant, canned goods, matches and candles in partnership with HeadKnowles Foundation.
The Sandals Foundation is very pleased to have some of our major international partners also coming onboard such as School Specialty with the donation of educational supplies for the schools most affected by the hurricane and Hasbro who have included additional toys for both Haiti and the Bahamas in the Sandals Foundation Christmas Toy Drive.
We are working with our partners on the ground to assess and identify long-term sustainable projects to include- the recovery of technology in schools in The Bahamas and greenhouse construction in Haiti. We are extremely grateful to our donors and partners who make these efforts possible. Together we can help our neighbouring islands recover from this disaster and help to restore life to normalcy.