Hands Across the Sea is dedicated
to raising the literacy levels
of Eastern Caribbean children
From Local Rotarians to Multinational Corporations
There are companies, foundations, and organizations in the Eastern Caribbean and in the U.S. that think like we do—that all children should have access to great new books and lending libraries, and that gains in child literacy should be sustained. We work with hands-on local groups, including chapters of Rotary International and grass-roots island nonprofits, and we receive funding from foundations and companies (below) that believe building a brighter future for Caribbean kids is an excellent investment. The Hands mission also receives tremendous support from a number of private foundations that wish to remain quietly in the background.
The Sandals Foundation, the corporate responsibility arm of legendary Sandals Resorts, accomplishes a tremendous amount of good in the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation brings medical assistance to those in need, is a leading light in environmental programs, and makes all sorts of community and educational programs possible in disadvantaged areas. In their initial partnering with Hands, the Sandals Foundation adopted six St. Lucia schools of our 2013-2014 Hands Wish Lists with outstanding funding for much-needed brand new books and metal library shelving (termite proof!). Every year since, the Sandals Foundation has supported more and more schools across St. Lucia, Antigua, and Grenada.
Scotiabank Community Program
Scotiabank does business in all of the islands where Hands works, and the bank's philanthropic reach touches a lot of lives. Scotiabank has invested in the communities they serve around the world for over 185 years, striving to help local people—in 2016, Scotiabank contributed over $70 million to help communities worldwide. Helping young people is the primary philanthropic goal of Scotiabank Community Program, and the bank supported Hands with a six-year grant to create or rejuvenating lending libraries at primary and secondary schools. Every year, Scotiabank employees on each island roll up their sleeves and volunteer their time to assist the schools with a variety of projects, from painting and refurbishing to working one-on-one with students.
Mill Reef Fund
Established in 1948, the Mill Reef Fund has supported countless medical, educational, general welfare, and religious institutions on Antigua and Barbuda. At the moment, Mill Reef Fund is assisting over 40 great causes—including child literacy and the creation of school libraries through Hands Across the Sea—by adopting the majority of schools on every year's Hands Wish Lists and supporting the Hands Literacy Link on Antigua to ensure project sustainability. Mill Reef Fund is a caring, dedicated group of people who are devoted to positive change, and the key support they're giving to Hands and child literacy is making difference in the lives of thousands of children on Antigua.
Rosalie Bay Resort
Dominica’s Rosalie Bay Resort, perched on the verdant southeast seacoast of the island, is a haven for endangered sea turtles and ecology-minded, luxury-seeking world travelers (National Geographic has recognized Rosalie Bay with its "Unique Lodges of the World" award). Rosalie Bay is also the island's leading advocate of child literacy—over the years, generous funding from the resort’s owners has made it possible for Hands to ship thousands of great new books to over a dozen schools, reading programs, and after-school youth groups on Dominica. In many schools, support from Rosalie Bay has ensured that the lending libraries established by U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers and Hands have become sustainable—an integral, vital part of schools. Rosalie Bay’s impact on child literacy in Dominica is deep, wide, and long-lasting.
Wishing Well, Inc.
An Antigua-registered charity dedicated to helping underprivileged children and adults on the island, Wishing Well Inc. was founded by the St. James's Club and The Verandah Resort & Spa, two prominent Antigua resorts. Working with government ministries and social welfare organizations to serve those most in need, Wishing Well assists a wide variety of educational and medical causes, from a Breakfast Programme for secondary school students, a back-to-school backpack initiative, and a Christmas Cheer Programme for individuals and families during the holiday season, to support for persons facing medical challenges, including patients in need of at-home support. As a Hands partner, Wishing Well has adopted a number of schools, funding new books and lending libraries to raise child literacy levels in a sustainable fashion.
Christophe Harbour Foundation
On the island of St. Kitts there's a new luxury residential resort development, Christophe Harbour, taking shape: a 300-acre marina, mega yacht harbor, 18-hole golf course, beautiful homes and villas—and a companion foundation dedicated to community outreach (conservation, education, recreation, cultural, historical, and social development projects) in St. Kitts. The Christophe Harbour Foundation is the leading supporter of child literacy, through Hands Across the Sea, on the island. Funding from the Christophe Harbour Foundation has allowed Hands to get great new books into the hands of thousands of children at primary schools and secondary schools on St. Kitts.
Palm Island & Galley Bay Resorts
Rightly famous as two ultimate Caribbean hideaways, Palm Island Resort (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and Galley Bay Resort & Spa (Antigua) are becoming known for their dedication to improving child literacy, too. From the 2013/2014 Hands Wish Lists Palm Island Resort adopted two primary schools on nearby Union Island (one of them a 2013/2013 Literacy Award winner), while Galley Bay Resort & Spa adopted a primary school just a mile away. With their support, Hands was able to send brand new books to all three schools—prompting one school to create their first-ever library! The donation reached 810 students, from kindergarten through grade 6. Both resorts continue to support child literacy by rejuvenating school libraries every year..
SeaDream Yacht Club
Aboard SeaDream Yacht Club's cruise ships, they believe in supporting a good cause, and they're walking the talk. During the ship's Caribbean-to-Atlantic crossings, guests and crew walk laps around Deck 6 to burn off the ship's renowned chocolate croissants. Sixteen laps equals one mile, and the walkers donate to a charity selected by SeaDream—and SeaDream generously matches the donations. All that walking has supported great new books and the creation/rejuvenation of Hands Across the Sea lending libraries at schools on St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada! But it's not all work. Noting the extraordinary level of luxury and attention lavished on SeaDream guests, Forbes Life declared SeaDream Yacht Club "The best small luxury cruise ship of 2015."
Curtain Bluff Resort
Perched on a dramatic promontory on Antigua’s southern coast, Curtain Bluff is as much a modern-day luxury resort as a much-venerated institution (the history of the resort, frequented by decades of loyal guests and families, is a window into the hospitality industry of the island). Through its Old Road Fund, the resort has supported a local primary school for years, and most recently it teamed up with Hands to rejuvenate the school’s lending library. Moving forward, Curtain Bluff is working with Hands to support local high schools, continuing to provide literacy support to children as they graduate from primary school to secondary school. That’s just another example of both the resort’s longstanding dedication to history, and to family and friends, for which it is so well known.
The Verandah Resort & Spa
The island of Antigua is famous for its 365 white-sand beaches (did we mention the aquamarine water?) and its constellation of beachfront luxury resorts. The standard of the hospitality industry on Antigua is very high and very competitive. The Verandah Resort & Spa is among the leaders, which perhaps is why they recognize the importance of child literacy in fast-developing Antigua: there’s no better way to ensure that the island grows in all the right ways than to nurture the next generation. The Verandah Resort & Spa not only supports Hands and its mission of delivering new books and lending libraries in Antigua, they believe that supporting a child-literacy organization such as Hands benefits the future of the Caribbean region.
American Sailing Association
Would you enter a sweepstakes where the prize is a one-week sailing charter in the Caribbean or a week's stay at a world-class Caribbean resort? In the annual American Sailing Association (ASA)/Hands Sweeepstakes, many folks donate to Hands with an eye to such awesome prizes. “The Caribbean is a gift to sailors and the sailing industry, so we are proud to support Hands Across the Sea’s goal of improving literacy levels in the Caribbean,” says Charlie Nobles, executive director of the ASA. The ASA, the leader in U.S. sailing education for three decades, has grown to include an international network of over 300 professionally accredited sailing schools. Over 400,000 students have learned to sail through ASA since 1983.
Blue Lagoon Hotel and Marina
Yes, this newly-developed hotel is in fact located on a blue lagoon—the coral-reef-fringed Blue Lagoon Cove at the southern tip of the island of St. Vincent, the largest of the islands in the island-archipelago-nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Blue Lagoon Hotel and Marina hosts long-distance cruising sailors (many of them from Europe) and charterboat guests at its marina (the many islands of the Grenadines are near), and draws travelers ready to discover green, mountainous St. Vincent and its hike-in volcano. The owners of the resort and marina, longtime St. Vincent residents, believe that education and child literacy are the path forward for this developing nation, and they have partnered with Hands to give children and local schools the literacy tools they need.