Today I want to share a project very near and dear to my heart. If you know me, you know how important the philanthropic side of my career has been and how much it means to me to give back both personally and professionally. But beyond that, how my work with non-profit organizations has allowed me to connect with people I never would have had the honor of knowing and learning from otherwise. Last week was another highlight for me! At the Engage!19: Baha Mar luxury wedding business summit, a group of attendees and I got to meet and engage with some very inspiring Bahamian people. Did you know that Engage has a foundation? Thanks to our leaders and the visionaries behind Engage, Kathryn Arce and Rebecca Grinnals, our industry now has the Engage! Foundation to empower our industry to make an impact. And I am honored to be the executive director of such a fantastic organization. The Engage! Foundation was created to educate and empower Engage attendees’ philanthropic efforts and leave a positive footprint wherever we gather. And last week, we did just that. We partnered with the Disabled Persons Organization and the Baha Mar Resort Foundation to bring much needed supplies to the area and participate in an afternoon of art and education.
We asked all the Engage attendees to “pack with a purpose” and bring items in their luggage from a list of supplies that are desperately in need in the area. We gave blue tooth speakers, echo dots and other devices that help the blind thrive in their daily lives in The Bahamas. The local newspaper, The Nassau Guardian, talked about the impact this has not just on the people we met, but the community at large. “The DPO president thanked the Baha Mar Resort Foundation as well as Engage! 19’s “Pack with a Purpose” program which made it possible for the organization to be recipients of the much-needed devices that he said would impact the lives of not only their members, but by extension, people with disabilities around the country.”
Then, in addition to giving those supplies to our partner organization, we got to spend the afternoon meeting some of the people the donations help. In the beautiful art gallery of Baha Mar, we gathered for an art class of our own, painting the local flamingos and sharing with one another.
It was such an honor visiting with members of the Disabled Persons Organization of The Bahamas learning about how people with cross abilities function in daily life and connecting through art was a beautiful experience.
Thank you to our Engage! attendees for sharing their love with our guests and for providing much needed electronic aids by ‘packing with a purpose.’ I am grateful to be a part of the Engage! Foundation and can’t wait for our next adventure! The wedding industry has immense potential for making positive change and I am honored to be a part of the movement.
To learn more about the Engage! Foundation, visit here.
Photos by Paul Morse, Love Life Images, Charla Storey, John Cain Photography, Eric Kelley, Banga Studios.
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