Resa O’Reilly, founder and president of St. Croix’s non-profit Project Promise, recently vacationed in Cuba. As someone who is dedicated to her organization’s vision of bringing about positive change in the world, she always looks for ways to make a positive impact on the local children while she is there.
For this trip, she planned to bring school supplies for local children. Thanks to the generosity of Project Promise’s staff members, who all contributed, she went to Cuba with a suitcase filled with over $200 worth of school supplies. These were then donated to students at a Cuban elementary school. The school was also presented with a collection of English language books, which they planned to use to start an English language section in its library.
Over 270 students in kindergarten through sixth grade at Escuela Primaria Camilo Cienfuegos were impacted by the gifts. “Every student at the school either received something personally, such as pens, erasers and paper, or supplies for their classrooms,” said O’Reilly.
The school director allowed her to personally distribute the gifts, and she was particularly touched by the children’s gratitude. “We fulfilled a need in such a simple way, and in return I witnessed so many different levels of appreciation. For example, one little girl was so excited to receive a pencil grip that she kissed it,” O’Reilly said. “This amazing experience was another reminder of how easy it is to make a difference for others.”
“Impacting others doesn’t always have to be done in a large, profound way. Even something as small as a pencil grip can bring joy to a child, and a suitcase full of school supplies can positively impact an entire community,” O‘Reilly said.