This #TravelTuesday is #GivingTuesday and with communities around the world in need and hard hit by the crisis, it can be overwhelming thinking where to look or what to do or where to give back! Here’s a suggestion, The Rockhouse Foundation’s Covid-19 Relief Fund – give back to Jamaica.
When I say the travel and tourism industry is hit hard by this, I don’t only mean beautiful escapes and airlines, but communities that rely on tourism dollars to sustain themselves. Yes, the carbon emissions from travel can be detrimental to environments but at times, if distributed wisely, the good that your travel does, can offset this. Make your travel dollar count — it’s one of the reasons I like to fly Norwegian. Rockhouse Hotel is not one of my top three favorite places I stayed solely because of the beautiful villas overlooking dolphin cove, delicious on-site restaurant that reminds me of home-cooking and amazing staff that make me truly feel at home. It’s because of the Rockhouse Foundation.
The Rockhouse Foundation tied with the property group is charity that has been transforming schools in and around Negril, Jamaica since 2004. The Foundation has built, expanded and renovated seven schools and the Negril Public Library and invested over US$5 million in projects and programs. All administrative and marketing costs are underwritten by Rockhouse & Skylark Hotels and Miss Lily’s so all donations directly support the work. The foundation has positively impacted the lives of thousands of children.
If you stay at the property, you can visit one of the schools in Westmoreland — where my maternal grandfather was from.
So, what does this Covid-19 Relief Fund do?
Jamaican communities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 shut down of the island. Families need help putting food on their tables and navigating their children’s disrupted education. Rockhouse Foundation is making bi-weekly distributions of food staples to impacted families. Through their on-the-ground network Rockhouse is prioritizing the most desperate and they need our help supporting their school families.
For a $10 donation you can provide staples for two weeks to a family (10 lb rice, 10 lb flour, 2 lb cornmeal, 2 long life milk, 2 cans mackerel).
Many children receive most of their nutrition at school. With schools not to re-open until September at the earliest, parents and teachers face a daunting challenge keeping up. Families struggle to effectively homeschool with prohibitively expensive access to the internet and few computers or devices at home. Simple obstacles become overwhelming and with our help we can make a HUGE difference. They are also sponsoring free wifi credit to facilitate home schooling for the children. It is a HARD time for us all — but if you can, pay it forward. I just donated in memory of my Uncle Claude Walker who passed away this month. A chef and a caterer, he’d do his damnedest to make sure none of those kids went hungry, so it’s a small tribute in his honor.