THE CONCEPT OF "PACK FOR A PURPOSE"
It's such a simple idea. Pack for a Purpose allows travellers to make a lasting impact in the community at their vacation destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the projects we support in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children, families, and stray animals too. Just contact us to find out what we need most, pack it in your suitcase along with your swim shorts, shades, & bikini, then we'll do the rest and ensure it gets to where it's needed.
HOW “PACK FOR A PURPOSE” STARTED IN SAINT VINCENT & THE GRENADINES
The owners of The Lookout Villa & Apartments, Chris & Louise Smullen, pioneered “Pack for a Purpose” across St. Vincent & the Grenadines in 2018.
After travelling to more than 50 countries around the world, their search for perfection was over when they first set foot on Bequia island in 2015. On many of their previous world-wide travels, they were always keen to pack extra supplies in their luggage to help the local communities that they visited.
They were surprised to learn that the “Pack for a Purpose” scheme had not previously been set up in this particular area of the Caribbean and took the necessary steps to address that.
Over the last 5 years, hundreds of kilograms of supplies have flooded in to Bequia island to help the local hospitals & clinics, schools, & stray animals too.
The Lookout Villa & Apartments supports six projects that have a profound impact on the Bequia community. Here’s a little background information on each Bequia island project.
CHRIS & LOUISE SMULLEN WANTED TO HELP THE LOCAL BEQUIA COMMUNITY AND INIITIATED THE PACK FOR A PURPOSE SCHEME IN THE COUNTRY
PROJECT 1: BAPA
The Bequia Animal Protection Alliance (BAPA) is a non-profit organisation, that has been created in response to the growing number of stray dogs in Bequia. They are dedicated to preventing cruelty and replacing it with kindness to all animals. They provide medical care to animals in need and subsidising veterinary care to low-income families.
BAPA conducts ongoing spay/neuter and vaccination campaigns, treats medical conditions, administers emergency/first aid care and facilitates animal adoption. A weekly animal clinic is held in Port Elizabeth, Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
High on BAPA's wish list! Tick, flea and mange treatments are urgently required to treat our dogs in Bequia. Old towels are also very useful.
THE FOUR-LEGGED LOCALS ARE DELIGHTED WHEN VISITORS BRING IN ESSENTIAL VETINARY SUPPLIES, AS WELL AS SMART COLLARS & NUTRITIONAL TREATS!
PROJECT 2: THE SUNSHINE SCHOOL / ENCORE THRIFT STORE
The Sunshine School for Children with Special Needs provides a nurturing learning environment for 30 students living in Bequia, ranging in age from five to twenty years. These children exhibit learning issues caused by a variety of physical, behavioural or mental challenges.
The Sunshine School is a privately funded, not for profit, institution administered by a local Board of Directors and is reliant on donations and fundraising in order to offer the students a wonderful learning environment. The teaching of work related and life skills allows opportunities for students to contribute to their homes and communities with self-supportive skills.
The school needs a regular supply of basic school and office supplies, learning materials, arts & craft supplies and books.
In 2020, the Sunshine School installed white boards to replace traditional chalkboards so white board marker pens, dusters and cleaners are always sought. The Sunshine School have also started a school garden, so children’s gardening gloves and garden hand tools are also required.
Newly opened in 2022! “Encore” is Bequia's first charity-run thrift store, offering second-hand clothing, books and household items at bargain prices - all in aid of The Sunshine School. Encore is manned by volunteers and relies on donations of lightly used items from the community and Bequia visitors.
VISITORS HAVE BEEN SO GENEROUS WITH THE SUPPLIES THEY BRING IN THEIR LUGGAGE TO BEQUIA ISLAND
PROJECT 3: GLEN'S PRE-SCHOOL
Glen’s pre-school, established in 1998, is a community facility providing a creche and activity centre for 45 young boys and girls living in Bequia.
The pre-school helps the children, ageing from 6 months to 4 years old, to socialise, play together, and to enhance their development and learning in preparation for joining general education.
The pre-school needs a regular supply of learning materials, books, arts and craft supplies, new and used toys, and fun activities to ensure more children can benefit in the future.
In addition to the above, the manager aims to provide every child leaving the pre-school with a starter pack of school supplies ready for their first year at primary school. Donations of school backpacks, pencil cases, rulers, & pencils are most welcome!
THE MANAGER OF GLEN'S PRE-SCHOOL, GLYNIS KING, WITH LOUISE FROM "THE LOOKOUT"
PROJECT 4: FRIENDS OF BEQUIA HOSPITAL
Friends of Bequia Hospital (FOBH) was set up in 2013 to improve medical care on Bequia and supports the 3 medical facilities on the island: Bequia Hospital, Port Elizabeth Clinic, and Paget Farm Clinic. FOBH is administered by local Trustees and is reliant on donations of supplies and fundraising.
The first priority is to ensure that medication, frontline supplies and consumables are available to meet the ongoing needs of the people of Bequia. The ultimate goal of FOBH is to offer a centre of medical excellence, improving medical equipment and preventing the need for Bequia residents to travel to the island of St Vincent for medical care.
PROJECT 5: BEQUIA READING CLUB
Bequia Reading Club was set up by Miss Cheryl Johnson, a former teacher, turned restaurant owner, to help young people with their literacy. Local and visiting children of all ages gather every Saturday afternoon at The Fig Tree restaurant to read books with adult volunteers. Cheryl creates a great motivational learning environment, ensuring that each child participates, feeds back what they have read, and gains from the experience. Each child can also choose a book at the end of each session to take home with them.
Volunteers at the reading club are also very welcome and it is a hugely rewarding experience.
All suitable reading books are gratefully accepted. Most required are fantasy books for ages 10+.
THE OWNER OF THE FIG TREE RESTAURANT, CHERYL JOHNSON, ENGAGES WITH THE CHILDREN AT HER READING CLUB
PROJECT 6: RISE UP BEQUIA
Rise Up Bequia is an independent non- profit initiative working for the public interest of the citizens of Bequia, focusing on building and strengthening core ideas and practices of sustainable community development, education, agency, and outreach.
The Book Donation Drive was set up in 2014 to help survivors of the December 2013 floods and now supports over 1100 children in every single school on Bequia. The project’s aim is to ensure that each child in Bequia starts the school year with all the supplies they need such as books, pens, pencils, and rulers.
Update for 2023. The following supplies are very much appreciated and will be distributed to all schools in Bequia - Geometry sets, scientific calculators, rulers, pens, 3B pencils, staples, white board markers and erasers, & first aid packs.
THE RISE UP BEQUIA TEAM DO SUCH BRILLIANT WORK FOR THE BEQUIA COMMUNITY
SUMMARY & HOW TO HELP
As words spreads, participation in the Pack for a Purpose scheme continues to grow every year and the entire Bequia community is so grateful for the donations.
If you plan a visit to Bequia island, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, then please contact Chris and Louise at The Lookout. They will facilitate the whole process, whether you choose to stay at their accommodation or elsewhere on island.
WhatsApp/ Tel: +1 784 527 2377
They can discuss the latest supplies required by project and arrange a convenient drop off or pick up of items. These will be recorded and then delivered to the relevant projects.
More information can be found in the following website links;
Thanks in advance for your kind contributions which will have a priceless impact on the lives of the people and animals on this tiny rock in the Caribbean Sea!
OVER TO YOU GUYS! COUD YOU "PACK FOR A PURPOSE"? WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.