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Beaches Resorts launches region's first ‘Volunteenism’ program

Jun 22 2015

~ISLAND IMPACT Allows Teens to Earn Community Service Hours in Partnership with the Sandals Foundation and Island Routes Caribbean Adventures~

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA (June 23, 2015) – Voluntourism and ‘giving back’ while on vacation has long been a popular activity for conscientious adult travellers throughout the world but now a new generation of travellers are getting in on the act following the launch of a unique ‘Volunteenism’ program catered specifically for teens.

Beaches Resorts, the family-focused brand of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), is expanding its voluntourism work with Island Impact, a new program set to launch on July 1st in the Caribbean islands of Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos that allows students to earn community service hours while undertaking community work on their all inclusive vacation.

Students can embark on a variety of volunteenism projects including “Reading Road Trip,” a literacy outreach campaign, tutoring and homework help, assistance at special interest local youth camps, Pack for a Purpose® an opportunity to collect, pack and deliver much-needed school supplies and personal hygiene goods as well as beach, park or community clean-up projects. Each volunteenism project is carefully developed by the Sandals Foundation and their locally-based partners to provide the greatest positive impact.

Created by Beaches Resorts in partnership with the Sandals Foundation, the non-profit arm of SRI which celebrated its sixth birthday in March, and facilitated through Island Routes Caribbean Adventures, the Caribbean-based excursion company, Island Impact gives full-time students the opportunity to earn up to 10 community service hours.

According to Beaches Resorts CEO Adam Stewart, Island Impact was inspired by consultations with members of the resort company’s new Teen Advisory Panel (TAP), a forum designed to provide insight into improving the vacation experience.

“Because community service is an integral part of their lives, our team along with the TAP members have been looking into ways for teens to earn those hours while on vacation, especially over the peak summer months at Beaches Resorts. Partnering with the Sandals Foundation is a great way for kids visiting the Caribbean to get beyond the resort to experience a different culture while making a real difference. We are proud and excited to offer this new opportunity,” said Stewart.

Island Impact will be available for booking beginning July 1st via http://www.beaches.com/islandimpact. Eligible students receive a certification of completion for their efforts, which can be applied to their school’s community service requirements. To participate and be eligible to earn community service hours, teens must be full-time students, registered guests of Beaches Resorts and at least 13 years of age. A parental waiver must be signed for students under 18. There is a non-refundable US$25 per person, per excursion fee, which covers roundtrip transportation and material costs.