Our Life Changing Visit to Ochos Rios Primary School in Jamaica

Last summer my friend, Gabi, told me about an amazing charity called Pack for A Purpose.  (If you’ve followed previous posts you’ve read all about this incredible organization. If not, click the link to read all about it!)  I loved the idea of taking action to positively impact the lives of students globally, so beginning a book drive was the perfect idea.  I would have never imagined in a million years that we’d collect 7,000 books and that I’d have the opportunity to actually visit the recipients of our donations. This past week has changed my life forever. It is so true that when you give, you receive even more in return.

On A Mission To Spread Happiness

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On March 27th, 2018, we headed for Ochos Rios Primary School to visit the students, teachers and staff where the books were donated. I had no idea what to expect and after our two hour drive from Montego Bay, we were immediately greeted with hundreds of smiles, joy, laughter, kindness, gratitude and friendship.




Thank you to Lyndsay Isaacs from Sandals Foundation, the non-profit organization in Jamaica that distributed all of the books.

Upon arrival, I was confused at first because it seemed as though there was a huge party going on at the school.  I thought to myself that if this is their typical daily recess, I was immediately moving to Jamaica to attend school here permanently.  We were informed that the school was having its yearly community carnival fundraiser. How lucky that we were visiting on this day! It was a blast.



Three students had prepared a traditional African dance that they performed for us. It was incredibly beautiful and so much fun to watch. They even tried to teach me a few parts of the dance.



About The School:

Ochos Rios Primary has about 1,500 students and only around 10 desk top computers for everyone to share. They are not only in great need of technology, but could use any basic school supplies such as books, pencils, pens, rulers, markers, play dough, you name it. If you’d like to make a donation, please contact me.  I will be continuing to send as many materials and supplies as possible and will certainly visit the school again the next time we are in Jamaica.





They have a brand new Special Education Department and can use any supplies you’d be willing to donate.


This is the library/tech lab

When I think of my own school district, Naperville 203 and my school’s abundant library and tech lab, I realize what a privilege it is to grow up with a great education.  More importantly, it is everyone’s humanitarian responsibility to give back as much as possible. While I certainly can’t afford to buy laptops for all of the students here, I can be an ambassador to this school and reach out as much as possible to bring awareness to people globally.  Hoping my own district will join me in my mission to change the lives of the students here.


Student Projects



Sorting books with the Principal, Althea Scott


Please help us make the Ochos Rios Primary Vision Statement a continued reality for these beautiful children.  Thank you so much for all who have already donated!  You’ve touched so many lives.

Together we can Spread Happiness ❤

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