The Sandals Foundation, the non-profit arm of Sandals Resorts International, partnered with JetBlue last week to give a much-needed boost to the Eltham Community Centre in Eltham, St. Ann. Approximately 50 volunteers, including JetBlue’s Check In For Good contest winners, their guests, local crewmembers, as well as volunteers from the Sandals Foundation, worked together to paint the Center on “Giving Tuesday” (Tuesday, November 28), a global day of giving which kicks off the holiday season. Funds from the project also went towards kitchen upgrades – including a new refrigerator and stove – and renovations to accommodate 10 new computers.
This project was part of JetBlue For Good Month, a month-long celebration of philanthropy. JetBlue customers from around the U.S. were given the opportunity to #CheckInForGood online and at kiosks stationed in New York City and Los Angeles for the chance to win a spot on a complimentary trip with a guest to volunteer with some of the airline’s non-profit partners including the Sandals Foundation. In addition to participating in the volunteer project, winners enjoyed a two-night stay at Beaches Ocho Rios Resort.
“Service is part of our DNA at JetBlue. We created JetBlue For Good Month to celebrate all the ways we give back to the communities we serve year-round, and this year we are thrilled to bring our customers on board too,” said Icema Gibbs, director, corporate social responsibility, JetBlue. “We really believe that JetBlue customers are special – good people who value kindness and humanity. #CheckInForGood is a great way for us to roll up our sleeves together and give back, reinforcing that every single person can make a difference.”
The Eltham Community Centre serves the thousands of people who live in and around Eltham, one of the main residential communities of Ocho Rios. At the community center, neighbors gather for recreational activities, information workshops, community meetings and sports events. It has also been the location for several Sandals Foundation projects such as free dental and eye care clinics as well as spay and neuter services for animals.
“We are so proud to have been chosen as the local Jamaican partner by JetBlue for their #CheckinforGood contest, and to help organize a fun and meaningful day of service for their passionate crewmembers and contest winners,” said Karen Zacca, project manager of the Sandals Foundation. She added that in addition to several hours of painting, volunteers had a chance to read and interact with the students from the adjoining Eltham Early Childhood Institution and to play football with a team from Exchange Primary.
“Both the Sandals Foundation and JetBlue share a common mission: to give back to the communities we serve. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate this together on Giving Tuesday, which is recognized in the U.S. as a day of national philanthropy,” concluded Zacca.
JetBlue’s #CheckInForGood campaign also included the unveiling of a book vending machine, which dispenses books free of charge, in partnership with the Houston Public Libraries in Texas as part of the airline’s Soar with Reading literacy initiative. The last trip will include a volunteer opportunity with the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation in the Bahamas.
JetBlue For Good is JetBlue’s platform for social impact and corporate responsibility. Giving back is part of JetBlue’s DNA and is core to its mission of inspiring humanity. Centered around volunteerism and service, JetBlue For Good focuses on the areas that are most important to the airline’s customers and crewmembers - community, youth/education and the environment. Combining JetBlue’s corporate efforts with its customers’ and crewmembers’ passions, the common theme is Good – JetBlue For Good. Join the #JetBlueForGood conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, check for regular updates and get involved.
To learn more about the Sandals Foundation, please visit sandalsfoundation.org