Agents of Beach Bum Vacation and philanthropic volunteers launched Beach Bum Cares about two years ago in a mission to provide children & their families aid, relief, & educational supplies. While traveling, we always make an effort to visit a school, orphanage or other institution in need. During our latest trip to the Bahamas at the beginning of September we had the opportunity to team up with the Sandals Foundation and visit the Bahamas AIDS Foundation in Nassau.
For two and a half years the Bahamas AIDS Foundation has been offering a program which provides assistance to pre-teens, adolescents and their families whose lives have been impacted by HIV/AIDS. Currently, they are working with 30 students and by extension their families for a reach of over 100 people. Their program ensures medical adherence, improvement in school attendance and GPA and a better quality of life inclusive of goal setting and attainment.
The outreach program does not have a graduation period, however as students progress from one grade level to the next, the dynamics of support they receive from the program may change. For example, students begin receiving help with grade level subjects and progress to assistance with national examinations, work skills and training inclusive of interviewing techniques, completing job applications and adhering to dress codes.
On September 4th we arranged a back to school party where we served lunch, donated supplies and played fun games 🙂 We donated school and teaching supplies including a laptop which came just in time as the one they were using had just broken, medical supplies (this is always important as it’s so expensive on the islands) and of course we brought candy! The kids were so excited for the gum and would playfully fight over it. We know to bring more next time!
With 24 agents contributing, the amount of supplies we were able to donate was quite overwhelming, totaling over $700.00 in value!
It’s a blessing to be able to give back and make these visits a part of our travels. With combined efforts we know we can make a tremendous difference in so many lives. Seeing the joy that such simple gifts brought to those children is something we won’t soon forget.
We’d love your help in raising funds to provide aid, relief and educational supplies to our partner schools or organizations! If you are interested in participating in a donation trip while you are traveling please let us know and we can help you set it up!
It is a unique and fantastic opportunity for Beach Bum Vacation to give back to the communities that provide our clients and us amazing destinations to visit.
In December 2011, volunteers with Beach Bum CARES set out on a journey to Jamaica to make a difference, change lives, and walk a small path to greater things; and I was lucky enough to be a part of this experience. 14 volunteers headed to Faith Academy, and in just a 48 hour period we became different people. We grew stronger, more capable, and INSPIRED. Faith Academy is located in the hills of St. Mary Parish an hour inland from Ocho Rios, in the mountains. It was opened by Kenroy and Simone Euter, who have spent several years working to build this school to provide primary, secondary, and adult education for people in this region. The closest school is 45 minutes one way and the students often drop out or never attend due to the distance. It has always been Kenroy and Simone’s dream to open this school and make a difference in their community through education. They wish to one day have a university and hopefully, with Beach Bum CARES behind them, that dream will come true!
In December, the Beach Bum CARES volunteers helped by donating funds and time to construct a cement floor and shell of the school building. Together, with two wheelbarrows, three shovels and seven buckets, we mixed, poured, laid, and smoothed out the concrete to accommodate five classrooms! In two short days, the amount we accomplished inspired us so much, we cried. We did something that Kenroy and Simone have been dreaming about for five years ….having a school floor! Such a small thing made such a difference in their lives, and we were so proud and honored to be a part of making that happen! They have been able to host adult education classes and expand the building since then, and we have helped make their dream of having a school come alive. Each improvement meets more requirements to attain government funding, and they are closer to their goal of cutting the ribbon! It was an incredible experience to make a difference in their lives, and we were all humbled by our own capability.
In February I was blessed to go back to take additional supplies and see the additional progress that has been made at Faith Academy. My husband, Erich, and I took hard hats, safety glasses, and work gloves donated by Indianapolis based Messer Construction and school supplies. New additions included an entryway and a small area for additional classrooms. Seeing how much they have accomplished in the last 3 months since we were there was truly awe-inspiring. We are truly excited about what is yet to come with Faith Academy!
Beach Bum CARES (BBC) is planning to return in the future with more funds and labor to finish more of the school. Currently BBC is seeking donations for supplies that can be taken via air and more importantly money to purchase building supplies in Jamaica. Most of what is needed cannot be transported. You may make a donation here. Beach Bum CARES also seeks volunteers to help with this project. BBC is not set up to sponsor airfare and/or hotel stay but would be honored and humbled if anyone would like to join us. It truly is a life changing experience and equally important, your help and generosity will forever change the lives of people in this community. This school has the potential to change the entire economy of this region!! If you are at all interested, please email email@example.com to be added to the list of potential volunteers. We will keep you posted on dates and details. Thank you so much for your support!
Your Passport booklet– don’t just “consider” taking this. It is a must for most destinations in the Caribbean and anywhere in Mexico. Leave home without it and you won’t be gone long- you will not be boarding that plane without presenting your passport booklet to TSA officials. Take a look a few months ahead of time and make sure it isn’t about to expire too! Remember, passport cards are NOT valid for air travel. You must have a passport booklet.
Plenty of sunscreen– The closer you are the to the Equator, the more intense the sun’s rays are. Don’t spend your vacation looking like a lobster, pack plenty of sunscreen and re-apply often. If you run out, resort gift shops will sell it, but it’s usually a little pricey.
Aloe vera gel – just in case you have a few too many frozen concoctions at the swim-up bar and forget to reapply your sunscreen! If you’re staying at Sandals or Beaches Resorts, you’ll have a complimentary bottle in your bathroom right near one of those Bathroom City showers they have, so don’t worry about packing it!
Pepto Bismol or another tummy remedy – nobody likes to talk about it, but many travelers experience upset stomachs, indigestion or diarrhea from overindulging, eating unfamiliar foods and drinking alcohol. Be prepared for it!
Tylenol, Advil, Excedrin or your choice of pain reliever – for that inevitable hangover-induced headache. Or just try the “hair of the dog” trick and visit the Bloody Mary & mimosa bar the next morning for breakfast!
A copy of your marriage license – if you are traveling for your honeymoon or anniversary, some resorts will require you to present this in order to receive complimentary honeymoon/anniversary amenities, so make sure you take it with you! If you cannot get a copy of your license in time for your honeymoon, take something else that proves that you were just married, such as a wedding invitation, ceremony program or a newspaper clipping announcing your wedding.
An insulated mug – keep those frozen drinks, cocktails & beers cold when you’re at the swim-up bar!
A Beach Bum Vacation tote bag – to carry all your gear to the pool or beach!
Appropriate clothing for dinner – you’ll probably live in a swimsuit, cover-up and flip flops most days, but you’ll likely need to get a little dressed up for dinner. Most resorts have restaurants that have a dinner dress code, which generally asks for men to wear long pants and collared shirts and for women to wear nice capris, skirts or dresses. Guys should take lightweight khakis or linen pants and breathable button-down or polo shirts, plus nicer-looking sandals. Flip flops are generally not acceptable for dinner. Ladies, we do suggest considering taking a lightweight jacket, sweater or wrap with you as the ocean breezes can leave you feeling a little chilly in the evening, especially if you have a sunburn!
Beach Bum CARES donation items for a local school or orphanage – if you are interested in visiting children at a local school or orphanage on your next vacation, delivering school supplies, sporting goods, clothing, food, toiletries, toys and other essentials, get in touch with Beach Bum CARES a month or two before your vacation and we will get everything set up for you! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave it at home:
Ridiculous amounts of cash – take some cash with you for tipping purposes. Even if you are staying at a resort like Sandals or Beaches with a “no tipping” policy, you should have cash with you to tip the driver as he is not employed by the resort and does work for tips. And, have some cash with you if you would like to do any shopping with local vendors. US dollars are generally accepted throughout the Caribbean & Mexico, so do not worry about exchanging your money to local currency. However, we do not recommend traveling with obnoxiously large amounts of cash as you do not want to be worried about losing it!
Other valuables – ladies, is it really necessary to take your gorgeous pair of 2 carat diamond earrings with you on vacation? Probably not! Traveling with costume jewelry is a smart route to go and you will not worry about it all week. If you are taking valuables with you (such as your passports & wallets), remember to lock everything up in your in-room safe! Housekeeping and maintenance staff at most resorts are honest and will not bother your belongings, but you are better to be safe rather than sorry!
10 pairs of stiletto heels – ladies, we are sure that you look super hot in them, but you’re probably not going to want to walk around many resorts in high heels. Take a pair or two of high heels, but bring some cute & comfy shoes for the evenings too! You’re going to be in lots of pain if you’re swimming with blistered feet in salt water or chlorine!
Anything you would add to either list? What do you consider to be a “must-have” for your own Beach Bum Vacations? We’d love to hear your tips! We’ll pick one person who leaves a tip before March 1 to win a Starbucks gift card!
On Valentine’s Day in 2000, Beach Bum Vacation was born in pursuit of a dream! However, it wasn’t until Hayley met her true Valentine that the business really took off. Robert and Hayley are a match made on the beach and the perfect complement to each other. Their personal chemistry has translated into a huge success. Beach Bum Vacation has grown tremendously over the last 12 years! Our team alone has grown from 2 to 20 travel concierges! There is a Beach Bum way of life, and we are living it!
The Beach Bum way of life, simply put, is our sincere passion for what we do and creating the dream getaway for you. Our genuine concern for listening to what you truly want, and how you feel about your overall experience, makes us who we are and is what sets Beach Bum Vacation apart. The Beach Bum way of life is to live it, breathe it, touch it, feel it, taste it and see it. What better way for us to truly KNOW what we’re talking about and properly advise you, than to live it ourselves?! It’s this unique approach that Beach Bum Vacation has taken that enables us to deliver an amazing experience to you year after year. Our pictures, true stories, personal experiences (good & bad), contacts, and hand-picked recommendations are all examples of how Beach Bum Vacation will continue to exceed your expectations time and time again. Constantly raising the bar, Beach Bum Vacation continues to explore new destinations, seek new hot spots, favorite restaurants… “testing the waters,” if you will, from helpful pre-travel preparation tips, airline baggage stipulations & fees, to sand color & ocean water clarity, we’ll advise you firsthand and guide you all the way to the beach!
Over 1,000 clients have shared their reviews of Beach Bum Vacation on the web; we have received many awards, achievements, and accolades in the past 12 years from some of the best resort lines, tour operators, and travel professionals. This past December we were the fourth company in history to be inducted into the Karisma Resorts‘ Hall of Fame. We have also earned recognition among the “TOP 10 Travel Agencies Worldwide” with Sandals & Beaches Resorts for five consecutive years. We have received 6 Globe Awards, 32 Diamond Awards, and over 20 STAR awards.
It’s time to celebrate! For every new Facebook “like” that Beach Bum CARES receives the month of February, Beach Bum Vacation is donating $1 to help Children and their families receive Aid Relief and Educational Supplies in the Caribbean and Mexico! It’s our dream to return to Jamaica this year to build walls for a school. We helped lay the foundation in December. Just visit http://www.facebook.com/BeachBumCARES and “like” the page! We’d love it for you to help spread the word to your friends too!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support throughout the years! We look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you and sending you on many Beach Bum Vacations! Come Travel the World With Us!
Hayley & Robert Whorrall and the entire team of Beach Bums
Beach Bum Vacation was founded 12 years ago this month, on Valentine’s Day 2000. We’ve grown quite a bit over the years, adding new destinations to our travel résumés, making destination wedding planning easy for hundreds of couples, welcoming new Bums to our family and developing friendships with management at the best all inclusive resorts to better service our clients. One milestone that we hold near and dear to our hearts happened a couple years ago, when a few Beach Bums got together and decided to establish a 501c3 nonprofit foundation, Beach Bum CARES.
Beach Bum CARES Inc. mission is to provide Children and their families Aid, Relief, and Educational Supplies. Beach Bum CARES Inc. will change the world one person at a time by targeting areas with a lower socio-economic status in the Caribbean and Mexico, determining specific needs of the children and their families, and delivering these goods resulting in measurable improvement in graduation rates and the percentage of students pursuing employment and/or higher education, thereby improving the overall economy of the community.
When we discussed the best way to celebrate Beach Bum Vacation’s birthday, we knew that we wanted to involve Beach Bum CARES so that we could help more children on our future travels. It is our goal that in 2012, we will raise enough money that we can return to some of the orphanages and schools we’ve visited previously and make an even bigger difference by donating items like laptops, sporting goods, school supplies, basic medical supplies, toiletries, clothing, food and more. We also want to make another visit to the Faith Academy near Ocho Rios, Jamaica. In December 2011, we helped the community begin building a kindergarten by laying the floors. In 2012, we want to raise enough funds so that we can build the walls, getting one step closer to allowing the Faith Academy to open its doors to kindergarteners in need of an education!
You can help Beach Bum CARES achieve our 2012 goals by simply liking our Facebook page. Even better, spread the word and tell your friends & family to do the same! And if you’re feeling particularly generous, you can even donate by visiting the Beach Bum CARES website or Paypal account. Or, the next time your traveling to the tropics, get in touch with us to arrange your own donation visit to one of our partner schools or orphanages!
Thank you for your support!
Beach Bum CARES Visiting Children at Cedar Grove Primary School in Antigua