Sandals and Beaches resorts team members' 'labour of love' across Jamaica
Sandals Royal Caribbean team members, Joel Brown (left), front office agent, and Shavoy Heaven, bartender, paint lunch benches at Leanora Morris Basic School.

CLOSE to 200 team members from Sandals and Beaches resorts ventured into various communities across Jamaica on Tuesday to partake in several projects marking Labour Day.

With the collective aim of furthering community development initiatives, the combined team conducted a commendable scope of work which spanned the erection of essential structures, refurbishing of dated resources, as well as aesthetic and infrastructural upgrades to existing buildings.

Tackling the task of creating pathways for sustainable development at the early childhood level, 40 team members from Sandals and Beaches resorts in Negril assumed the roles of painters, carpenters, and gardeners at the Blossoming Minds Childcare Facility.

The Westmoreland-based institution experienced a transformation at the hands of zealous labourers who repainted interior walls, constructed a much-needed sick bay, and executed landscaping efforts on the expansive grounds of the facility.

Charles Blacher, general manager of Beaches Ocho Rios, demonstrates proper painting techniques at the Ocho Rios Police Station.

Also instrumental in the day's success was the director of the childcare centre, Nordia Burte, who tearfully expressed her appreciation for the overwhelming support from the Sandals and Beaches family.

"I'm amazed at the turnout and I'm extremely grateful for all that's been accomplished today," said Burte.

"With the help of the team, what I anticipated would take three years to achieve has been attained in just six months! This is truly an incredible milestone for the staff and the students alike," added Burte.

Team members, too, were moved by the lasting footprint that they deemed themselves privileged to have embedded in the Chantilly Gardens community.

Regional manager for the Post and Telecommunications Department at Jamaica Post, Stacey-Ann Lewis Buchanan (left) shares a light moment with Sandals South Coast team member Kimberlee Callam during the resort's initiative at the Whitehouse Post Office.

"It's really a remarkable feeling to be a part of an initiative like this," said Assistant Weddings and Romance Manager Yanique Hyman, as she added the finishing strokes to the kitchen's reframing paint job.

"I'm honoured to be afforded the opportunity to positively impact young lives and the community at large," declared Hyman.

In reasonable proximity to the Negril team was the Sandals South Coast team, with nearly 30 team members leading the charge to beautify the Whitehouse Post Office in Westmoreland.

The initiative, which was done in honour of the community members — especially senior citizens who frequent the facility — included much-needed landscaping and the painting of the building's exterior.

Regional public relations manager for Sandals and Beaches Negril, Jennese White is all smiles as she brightens the walls of the nursery at the Blossoming Minds Childcare Facility.

Also out in their numbers on the day were team members of Jamaica Post as well as community development officer for Whitehouse, Donorick Thompson; councillor candidate for the Whitehouse Division, Michael Jackson; and mayor of Savanna-la-Mar, Bertel Moore.

"Hats off to the Sandals South Coast team for embarking on this project and for their continuous dedication to community development. This Labour Day initiative is welcomed by us and it is truly a pleasure to see the community members supporting the cause," said Jackson.

In the Montego Bay region scores of volunteers eagerly turned out to paint in vibrant aqua blue and sundance yellow the interior and exterior surfaces of Leanora Morris Basic School.

Through the region's strategic partnership with the Sandals Foundation the educational institution was able to benefit from a brand new look for the first time since it was established 40 years ago.

Sandals Negril volunteer Michala Campbell showcases her artistic flair during her team's Labour Day initiative at Blossoming Minds Childcare Facility.

The school population of almost 100 students returned to a significantly improved learning environment as a result of the Labour Day feat.

Principal of the basic school Tracey Ricketts-Reid expressed gratitude for the work done by the volunteers.

"I have been here at the school for almost 20 years and this is the first time that the school has been painted. It's absolutely beautiful now."

Equally as adept at effecting practical change at the community level, team members from Sandals resorts in the Ocho Rios region demonstrated a spectacular showing as they laboured in love.

A host of team members and police officers maintained a strong presence at the Ocho Rios Police Station as they collaboratively renovated the outdated constabulary base.

The station benefited from the addition of a recreation area for the cops, who were overjoyed at the long-awaited installation.

According to Charles Blacher, general manager for Beaches Ocho Rios, "It was a real pleasure to give back to the region in such a significant way. The involvement of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is incredibly heart-warming because it solidifies our partnership and is a tangible reminder to them that we value their contribution to society."

Sandals and Beaches resorts have committed to continue working towards building better communities that will ultimately advance the nation's development.

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