One Morning with the Sandals Foundation


One morning while in Jamaica, I witnessed one event. One love with the Sandals Foundation.

And it forever changed me.

Armed with wrapped presents that filled a suitcase when coming to Jamaica, my daughter and I arrived at Mount Airy School in the Mocho Mountains of Clarendon Parish.

On this morning we, along with the Sandals Foundation, were throwing a Christmas party for the children of the school.

sandals foundation

We were immediately greeted by so many warm smiles, and some nervous but anxious faces. More than 300 kids piled out of the two buildings that make up their school, and lined up according to class.

sandals foundation donation

First, we were welcomed by some wonderful entertainment of song and dance then handed out juice and cake for all the children. Of course, there was ice cream as well.

negril jamaica sandals foundation


negril jamaica sandals foundation christmas

Then, it was the moment all the kids had been waiting for – presents! Santa arrived and each child sat on his knee and got a gift, some wrapped from the #BeachesMoms yet most {hundreds}, were donated by HASBRO.

school visit negril jamaica sandals foundation

You can guess by this time that I tried to fight back many tears. I was thankful for the hot sunny day and the sunglasses I brought with me, possibly it masked the constant stream of water filling my eyes.

school visit negril jamaica sandals foundation

The entire morning, the whole experience filled my heart like no other event could ever do. We’ve donated toys, clothing and money countless times before, yet never have I been on the receiving end where you actually SEE the difference it makes. Until now.

It’s a feeling that is almost indescribable, so significant.

Just as we were leaving, a hand tugged on the hem of my shirt. I looked down to see a little girl, probably just a little older than my twins. In her arms was one of the presents that I had brought with me, tagged ‘girl’.

After telling me that her name was Serena, she hugged her gift and said, “I love my Tinker Bell fairy. Thank you“.

Insert river of tears – sobbing like a baby.

Between sniffles and shaking I told Serena ‘You are so welcome‘, and hugged her as tightly as I could.

school visit negril jamaica sandals foundation donation

After taking her photo, I looked over at my daughter and she was crying as well {though a little less obviously than her sappy mother}.

As Serena hopped away to join her friends, I put my arm around my daughter, to hug but also for support. “This is the best day ever, Mom“. I choked back more tears, seeing the awe and gratitude on her face, and just smiled.

This one Morning with the Sandals Foundation, we were part of one love. One act that made a difference to so many, including us.

school visit negril jamaica sandals foundation


Officially founded in 2009, the Sandals Foundation works to fulfill the promise of the Caribbean community through investment in sustainable projects in Education, Environment and Community which improve people’s lives and preserve natural surroundings.

I urge you to read about the Sandals Foundation, the story and difference made through their initiatives – it’s truly remarkable.

Please visit to donate.

You can also follow Sandals Foundation on Facebook and on Twitter @SandalsFdn, for updates.






  1. and now I’m in tears too Tammi, the most beautiful post. what a day that must have been!

  2. What a heartwarming experience, for you and your daughter. This was nice to read before Christmas, to feel thankful and a reminder to give back when you can

  3. What an amazing experience that must have been. No wonder there were tears in your eyes. It was also a marvellous experience for your daughter too, she will never forget this experience and will be one of the many to give back when she herself is older.

  4. omg ; Tamm; I am so pleased that Isabelle and you experienced this; It is such a learning and heartwarming experience. What a joy and lesson in life! LUV LUV

  5. How wonderful! What a great experience for you and your daughter. Thanks for sharing. I’d never heard of this foundation.

  6. Those little people have such happy faces. This was quite an experience for you and your daughter and knowing how happy you made those children must have been so gratifying. It is always nice to see a child’s smile. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Wow, it sounds like you had such an amazing, lovely experience. I will read up more about the Sandals Foundation:)

    1. They do AWESOME things for the communities in the Caribbean. I’m astonished with each thing I learn about the foundation – remarkable!

    1. I think of the kids often, I’d love to visit with them again one day. I’m so happy my daughter got to do this with me, she learned a lot this morning!

  8. What an awesome opportunity to bring smiles to so many kids! (Rock on Hasbro for all your donations, too.) It’s so cool that you were able to bring your daughter along so she could participate and see first-hand the power of charitable giving.

  9. What a fabulous way to give back. I loved seeing all the beautiful and happy little faces.

  10. Haven’t come across this Foundation before,so thank you for the information. Having donated many times to other organisations its good to see the end product

  11. awe this is so amazing!! so nice to look at the photos of these children with such beautiful big smiles 🙂 so heart warming

  12. Your photos are great and what an experience. Love how you captured it on “film.”

  13. This is a beautiful story. How wonderful that you and your daughter got this opportunity to see firsthand the blessings that come from giving to others!

  14. وصفه عليه السلام

    Who is Jesus?

    Without a doubt, you have often heard the claim that Jesus is God, the second person in the “Holy trinity.” However, the very Bible which is used as a basis for knowledge about Jesus and as the basis for doctrine within Christianity clearly belies this claim. We urge you to consult your own Bible and verify that the following conclusions are not drawn out of context:

    1. God is All Knowing…..but Jesus was not
    When speaking of the day of judgment, Jesus clearly gave evidence of a limitation on his knowledge when he said, “but of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in Heaven, neither the son, but the Father.” Mark 13:32, and Matt 24:36. But God knows all. His knowledge is without any limitations. That Jesus, of his own admission, did not know when the day of judgment would be, is clear proof that Jesus is not all-knowing, and that Jesus is therefore not God.

    2. God is All Powerful…..but Jesus was not
    While Jesus performed many miracles, he himself admitted that the power he had was not his own but was derived from God when he said, “Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do…” St. John 5:19. Again he said, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” St. John 5:30. But God is not only all-powerful, He is also the source of all power and authority. That Jesus, of his own admission, could do nothing on his own is clear proof that Jesus is not all-powerful, and that therefore Jesus is not God.

    3. God does not have a God…..but Jesus did have a God.
    God is the ultimate judge and refuge for all, and He does not call upon nor pray to any others. But Jesus acknowledged that there was one whom he worshipped and to whom he prayed when he said, “l ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.” St. John 20:17. He is also reported to have cried out while on the cross, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?” Matt 27:46. If Jesus were God, then couldn’t this be read, “Myself, myself why hast thou forsaken me?” Would that not be pure nonsense? When Jesus prayed the Lord’s prayer (Luke 11:2-4), was he praying to himself? When in the garden of Gethsemane he prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: Nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt.” Matt 26:36-39. Was Jesus praying to himself? That Jesus, of his own admission and by his own actions, acknowledged, worshipped, and prayed to another being as God is clear proof that Jesus himself is not God.

    4. God is an invisible spirit…..but Jesus was flesh and blood
    While thousands saw Jesus and heard his voice, Jesus himself said that this could not be done with God when he said. “No man hath seen God at any time.” St. John 1:18. ‘”Ye have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape.” St. John 5:37. He also said in St. John 4:24. “God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” That Jesus would say that no one had seen or heard God at any time, while his followers both saw and heard him, is clear proof that Jesus was not God.

    5. No one is greater than God and no one can direct Him but Jesus acknowledged someone greater than himself whose will was distinct from his own.
    Perhaps the clearest indication we have that Jesus and God are not equal, and therefore not one and the same, come again from the mouth of Jesus himself who said in St. John 14:28, “My Father is greater than I.” When someone referred to him as good master in Matt 19:17, Jesus responded, “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God…” Furthermore, Jesus drew clear distinctions between himself and God when he said, “I proceeded forth and came from God, neither came I of myself but He sent me.” St. John 8:42. Jesus gave clear evidence of his subordination to God, rather than his equality with God,when he said in Luke 22:42, “not my will but thine be done” and in St. John 5:30, “I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” That Jesus would admit that he did not come into the world on his own initiative but was directed to do so, that he would acknowledge another being as greater than himself, and that he would negate his own will in deference to affirming the will of another, give clear proof that Jesus is not the Supreme One and therefore Jesus is not God.

    The Church recognizes the Bible as the primary source of knowledge about God and Jesus. But since the Bible makes it clear that Jesus is not the Supreme Being and the Supreme Being is not Jesus, upon what basis have you come to believe otherwise?

    My brother or sister, the belief that the Supreme Being is a Trinity is false and completely inconsistent with the words of Jesus as presented in the Bible. God is one, not three. He is a perfect unity.

    If you are interested in the truth about God and your relationship to Him, we invite you to investigate the religion of Islam.

    What is the word of God about Jesus:

    A. Regarding Sonship of Jesus:
    That is Jesus, son of Mary, in word of truth, concerning which they are doubting. It is not for God to take a son unto Him. Glory be to Him! When He decrees a thing he but says to it “Be”, and it is. (Qur’an 19:34,35).

    And they say, ‘The All-merciful has taken unto Himself a son.’ You have indeed advanced something hideous. The heavens are well nigh rent of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains well nigh fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All-Merciful a son; and it behoves not the All-Merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and earth but comes to the All-Merciful as a servant (Qur’an 19:88-93).

    Truly the likeness of Jesus, in God’s sight, is as Adam’s likeness; He created him of dust, then said He unto him, “Be”, and he was. (Qur’an 3:59).

    People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the Truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers. and say not, ‘Three’, Refrain, better is it for you. God is only One God. Glory be on Him – that He should have a son! To Him belongs that which is in the heavens and on the earth, God suffices for a guardian. (Qur’an 4:171)

    B. Regarding Jesus being God:
    And when God said. ‘O Jesus son of Mary,did you say unto men, “Take me and my mother as gods, apart from God?” He Said, ‘To You be Glory! It is not mine to say what I have no right to. If I indeed said it, You knew it, knowing what is within my soul, and I do not know what is within Your soul; You know the things unseen. I only said to them what You did command me: “Serve God, my Lord and your Lord.” And I was a witness over them, while I remained among them; but when You did take me to Yourself the Watcher over them; You are the witness of everything. (Quran 5:116,117)

    C. Regarding Crucifiction of Jesus:
    And for their unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a mighty calumny, and for their saying, ‘We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God’…yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who are at variance concerning him surely are in doubt regarding him, they have no knowledge of him, except the following of surmise; and they did not slay him of certainty… no indeed, God raised him up to Him; God is Almighty, All-Wise. There is not one of the people of the Book but will assuredly believe in him before his death, and on the Resurrection Day he will be a witness against them. (Qur’an 4:156-159)

  15. What an amazing experience for you and your daughter. Thank you very much for sharing this.

  16. What an amazing experience for both you and Isabelle! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. This sounds like a great cause and giving back is the best feeling you can have!

  17. It is so rewarding to give back! We fly off to others’ countries and sit on beaches and relax and often a sub-culture of poverty lies across a road or just out of sight. Great to know there are foundations like this that try to bridge that gap. 🙂

  18. What an amazing experience to share with your girls, something that they will take with them the rest of their lives and hopefully continue to help/encourage others.

  19. What a wonderful experience that must have been for you and your daughter. It warms my heart to witness kindness and good does exist. Thank you for contributing to our world.

  20. Wow, I felt like crying too when I read that you AND your daughter were both crying. So touching. What an amazing thing you guys were apart of. During the holidays, I love to donate toys to under privileged kids because even though it is a “want”, for some kids, it really makes SO SO much more of difference and it means so much more, such as for these kids. The instant gratification is also priceless.

  21. What a beautiful experience and a great one to share with your daughter. I think nowadays it is harder for us to teach them humility and generosity (I personally take my daughter with me at Christmastime to deliver toys and food to local organizations) but the opportunity to see first hand the benefit of your efforts – amazing!

  22. what a fabulous experience, it truly changes a person , such a little thing can make such a big difference to another child in need

  23. Wow… I’m crying reading this – what an awesome experience for you and your daughter to share!

  24. It’s inspiring to how a little fun and a present can give a child, a community and the givers a day to remember.

  25. Thanks for being such a great amabassador for Canada, and opening our eyes a little more to what life is like beyond our borders.

  26. WOW! What an amazing opportunity for you and your family and a great opportunity to give back. Thanks for sharing.

  27. What a lovely post, it truly brought me to tears. I love when one is able to see where their charity and help goes to. Such a beautiful thing for Isabelle to experience and wow gorgeous children at that school. The little one holding the ice-cream cone what bright beautiful eyes she has.

  28. Thank you for sharing such an amazing post, Tammi. My nephew had 6 Santa Anonymous children to buy for this year. He chose to do this instead of buying presents for the family. This was welcomed by all of us. But to see the child open up the gift that you had bought for them…well that really is priceless. Wonderful you 🙂

  29. *sniff* these are the sort of events that make vacations. we did a voluntour last year and vow to do many more.

  30. Good to see Sandals and tourists paying back. I try to do the same when travelling. Jamaica hosts such wealth while their own people experience poverty and violence. What a great story, thank you for sharing.

  31. This was a truly inspiring story! I loved that your daughter was there with you and got to experience it as well!

  32. What an amazing opportunity to be a part of this! I am sure it will be something that your daughter will always remember, too!

  33. That’s pretty cool of you to help out those less fortunate. Hope you have a good holiday!

  34. The kids look so nice all dressed in their uniforms. What a heart warming event and such a great experience for you to have with your daughter.

  35. This is amazing and brought tears to my eyes. As parents we are well aware of how lucky we are. Its really important for our kids to also know and see how lucky/blessed we are. Kudos to you for helping and caring !! Love it

  36. Thanks for sharing your family’s wonderful journey in making such a positive difference in the lives of so many precious children. This is an amazing humanitarian story…love it!

  37. Beautiful story Tammi, I am wiping away my tears right now. That is wonderful that your daughter was able to share in this experience with you. Happy New Year.

  38. Wow, as I read through this I have tears streaming down my face as well. What a touching story, and what a great experience for both you and your daughter!

  39. Absolutely love this post and am so glad you and Isabelle experienced this together.

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