Breaking Travel News

Airlines help in Carib Xmas scheme

Caribbean Star Airlines and Caribbean Sun Airlines are helping HERO International with its
Christmas Around the Caribbean Share the Gift programme.

The scheme delivers Christmas presents to disadvantaged children in most of the destinations
serviced by Caribbean Star. 

HERO, a non-profit organization started nearly eight years ago by Stanford Financial Group’s Chairman and CEO R.
Allen Stanford to break the cycle of despair and anxiety of marginalized
families, has a tradition of making Christmas special for hundreds of
children in the Caribbean each year. 

This year, two new partners—a
US-based toymaker and an international shipping company—have joined
the initiative.

“Caribbean Star Airlines and Caribbean Sun Airlines,
along with HERO International, are particularly grateful to our new Share
the Gift corporate sponsors Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company and Seaboard
Marine for their generous contributions,” said Caribbean Sun and
Caribbean Star CEO William E. Barnette.


“Their participation adds to the excitement we already feel about helping HERO
distribute toys, as well as transport staff, as the HERO staff organizes
and hosts parties throughout the Caribbean. Share the Gift is a way to
spread Christmas joy in the very heart of each island nation while
providing a Christmas memory.” 

The Christmas Around the Caribbean Share the Gift effort began with an exciting launch in Barbados on 4 December,
with more than 300 primary school children from St. Mary’s School
enjoying refreshments, a bounce castle, acrobatic elves, games and more.

At the end of the party, Santa presented children with a treat bag and a
personal gift. HERO staff will then travel to Guyana for 10 parties from
Essequibo at the State House to Kamal Home for Children and the Georgetown
Hospital Pediatric Ward. Parties will have up to 100 children and are
co-hosted by Ms. Uma Jagdeo of Kids First Fund. HERO staff then travel
to the Belmont Early Childhood Centre in Trinidad on 9 December, where
organizer Ms. Elbourne has also planned to invite other children and to
assist with children’s centres elsewhere on the island and in Tobago. On
10 December, a full celebration with a bounce castle and more will be
co-hosted at the President’s House in Dominica by the President’s Club
which is chaired by President Liverpool.

On the same day, a second HERO crew will enjoy festivities at the State House in St. Vincent, organized
by Ms. N. Sampson. On 12 December, parties will be held in St. Lucia at
Holy Family Children’s Home, the Donatar School and the Children’s Home
of Soufriere. The following week, HERO staff will visit St. Kitts, and the
St. Kitts Childrens‰€? Home, Save our Sons Home for Young Offenders and
various churches. On the 19th, Anguilla’s celebration will occur on its
19th Anniversary of Independence at the Agricultural Grounds in a party
organized by the Chief Minister’s Office and the Office of Home Affairs.

The Antigua parties, home to HERO Antigua, will take place the week of
Christmas at Gray’s Farm and at the HERO headquarters in Longford

“For some in the Caribbean children in foster care,
children in families facing economic hardship, children of young single
mothers Christmas is only a painful reminder of what they do not
have,” says HERO Director Teresa Emanuel.

This year, over US$140,000
worth of presents was donated by Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company, and
more than 600 presents will be delivered by Caribbean Star to each island
destination in time for the HERO parties. For many of these children, the
gifts will be their only present this year.‰€?  In several destinations,
HERO organizers have also arranged for extra gifts for children who are in
the islands’ children’s homes: toiletries, new underwear and clothing,
and more personalized gifts.

Across the Caribbean, children and organizers
alike are excited.  The Share the Gift promotion allows each local island
destination to also have the opportunity to give, and to help make
Christmas memories that last for the children of their own island who are
in need. Caribbean Star will help provide point-of-sale outlets, while the
flight crews of both Caribbean Star and Caribbean Sun will wear SHARE THE
GIFT buttons, display toys available for purchase and make announcements
on all Caribbean flights to further awareness of the programme. Holiday
HEROes can visit the Caribbean Star and Caribbean Sun ticketing office in
their cities and purchase a quality Christmas gift: stuffed Snoopy and
Woodstock, National Geographic Mama and Baby Elephant or Lion, or even a
Raggedy Ann or Andy special edition doll. For each US$20 donation,
customers can take one toy home, and one will be donated to the local
charity. Customers also receive a durable luggage tag with a Share the
Gift promotion logo, and the logos of the corporate sponsors: HERO,
Seaboard Marine, Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company and Caribbean Star and
Caribbean Sun which can travel with them to spread the word.  ###

About Caribbean Star Airlines Limited and Caribbean Sun Airlines Inc.
Privately held Caribbean Star Airlines Limited was incorporated in Antigua
in January 2000.Its sister airline Caribbean Sun Airlines Inc., based in
Fort Lauderdale, FL, launched its maiden flight in January 2003.
Currently, together the airlines serve 18 Caribbean destinations, with the
15 December launch of the Barbados route being the 19th, and transport
more than 80,000 passengers a month throughout the region. More
information about Caribbean Sun Airlines and Caribbean Star Airlines is
available at their respective websites, www.flycsa.comand  Caribbean Star Airlines Limited and Caribbean
Sun Airlines Inc. are affiliated but separate companies. The air service
provided by each carrier is operated independently of the other, and the
rules applicable to travel on each airline may be different. About HERO
HERO is a non-profit organization that endeavours to break the cycle of
despair and anxiety of marginalized families by building a bridge of hope
and stability through short-term housing for families in distress while
they regroup, retrain and refine their skills and talents. The HERO system
and LifeSkills training has produced an amazing group of confident,
efficient and self-sufficient members of society. More information about
HERO is available at