Sandals Foundation starts delivering emergency relief in Turks & Caicos

Thursday, September 14, 2017

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Sandals Foundation on Monday began delivering emergency relief to Providenciales in response to the devastation unleashed by Category five Hurricane Irma on the Turks & Caicos Islands last week.

The foundation and the team from the Sandals Resorts-owned and -operated Beaches Turks & Caicos partnered with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross to deliver desperately needed food to victims of one of the most powerful hurricanes in history.

“Our priority is to give those in shelters immediate relief with perishable and non-perishable food items and water,” said Heidi Clarke, executive director of the Sandals Foundation, who flew into Turks & Caicos with a team to assess the damage this week. “So many people have lost everything; it is hard to imagine how devastated these islands are.”

Clarke added that in coming days the foundation will launch a drive to collect canned food, diapers and baby formula through the ATL Group's locations in Jamaica for the benefit of Turks & Caicos hurricane victims. This is in addition to an international online donation drive via the foundation's website — sandalsfoundation.org — to collect funds for ongoing disaster relief efforts.

“We are doing multiple assessments in Turks to also look at long-term projects that will need our assistance,” added Clarke. “Our urgent need is to get children back in school to provide some normalcy and stability in their lives. We have to also work as swiftly as possible to get these distressed communities back on their feet.”

Clarke said the foundation will be working with the Turks & Caicos Ministry of Education, as well as the principals and staff of both Clement Howell High School and Enid Capron School to assist in their rebuilding efforts, as both have suffered extensive damage.

Over the years, Sandals Foundation has been involved with multiple disaster first-response relief programmes and several redevelopment projects throughout the Caribbean, including in Haiti, The Bahamas, Dominica, and St Lucia. After both earthquake and hurricane destruction in Haiti, Sandals Foundation supported various partners including: Population Services with 205,000 Aqua Tabs; Global Orphan with clothing; the Salesian Missions with recovery kits for 400 families; and All Hands Volunteers with the recovery of six schools and health clinics.

Other projects include the restoration of the Cancer Society Centre, Senior Citizen Centre and St Andrew's Kirk Elderly Home in The Bahamas; the construction of a new multipurpose room at Petite Savanne Primary School in Dominica; and the provision of school supplies to children in St Lucia.

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