This blog doesn’t really involve us … (I am sad to say) … but it does involve some pretty cool cruisers. Thanks to modern technology and the social media world it is becoming easier and easier to meet other people prior to your cruise who are cruising with you. (Even for introverts like me who would rather lick the bottom of their shoe than meet someone new… LOL) Seriously though, these cruise groups are great. It helps the excitement to have other people to count down the days with prior to your cruise. Often the more outgoing ones of the bunch will schedule a meet and greet on board one day at sea, they include alcohol for the ones who need it to come out of their shell and regardless some lasting friendships will be made. Occasionally, you meet someone who stands out.
In our Jan 19th Carnival Sunshine group I met Ray and Kathy. Ray and Kathy first cruised to Montego Bay, Jamaica in 1994. They got off the ship and met a cab driver and asked him to show them around town. They had such a wonderful time and ended up exchanging contact information with the driver so they could keep in touch. The next year when they returned to Jamaica, their new friend met them at the port and once again took them around town. Only this time he took them to visit a school. While there, the teacher mentioned the school’s struggle to get supplies. Ray and Kathy were so touched, when they returned home from their cruise they set out for the dollar store, filled 2 large boxes with supplies and mailed them to their cab driver friend who delivered the supplies for them. Since that time whenever they cruise to Mo Bay they bring their supplies with them onboard, meet their friend at the port and deliver the supplies in person. While they always include basic school supplies, last year they were able to donate several Leapfrog Leap Pads and similar learning pads.
While discussing what excursions everyone was taking in Mo Bay on the FB Page, Kathy and Ray mentioned they would be meeting up with their long time cab driver friend (who is now retired) and once again delivering more school supplies to the school. The response from some of the group was overwhelming! Several families from the cruise group wanted to contribute as well. Ray and Kathy had such a response from other cruisers, they set up a time when the supplies could be delivered to their stateroom. With the help of other cruise passengers, this year Ray and Kathy were able to take 2 suitcases full of school supplies to the school. The kids were so excited to see them!
Ray and Kathy never thought their act of generosity and kindness would have such an impact with their cruise mates… and I am sure their cruise mates never thought Ray and Kathy would have such an impact on them! Pictured in the photo above is Linda Austin. She connected with Ray and Kathy on the cruise and asked if she could accompany them to the school. Linda is a humanitarian who does a lot of work in Kenya and wanted to see how Ray and Kathy were helping in Jamaica. In the near future, their plans are to get some computers for these kids to use. How amazing!! If you are traveling to Jamaica and looking for a way to help, please contact Kathy at KathyChandler260@yahoo.com
I thought this was totally awesome and wanted to share it with you guys! We are so blessed to be able to take family vacations and travel to all these wonderful places. As a family, we are huge pay it forward people at home. It got me thinking… Do you “Pay It Forward” on your trips?