The global pandemic of COVID-19 has brought the world to its knees. It has been a painful and difficult time, but also an incredibly tender and transformative moment. It has reminded us at Rockhouse that, now more than ever, it is only through togetherness that we can build a better world: starting right in our backyard. 

When the pandemic first kicked off, as we watched the airports shut down and we closed our doors, the Rockhouse Foundation leapt into action to assist  the communities around us. Since most people are employed in the tourism sector and related industries in western Jamaica, we knew that our communities would be hit, and hit hard. 

The Foundation has been organizing weekly packages of food staples to go out to the community. Our schools network provides breakfast and lunch while in session, but with them closed for safety measures we had been receiving reports that families were struggling to put food on the table.

Our Rockhouse family rallied around the initiative, and made it our goal to raise US$100,000 to help affected families.  In late May we hosted our COVID Relief fundraiser on Instagram Live to assist these families affected by COVID-19. Our friends Chronixx and Shaggy came through to support the cause, and Sting even stopped by to say hello. We heard from our chairman Paul Salmon, the head of the Foundation Peter Rose, principal at Bunch Of Stars School Ms. Nichols and our General Manager Inise Lawrence. Not even a slightly glitchy platform could stop the vibes. 

We thank each and everyone of you that stopped by and the many in our community who took the extra step and donated. We were uplifted by your comments and support. Seeing the excited “hellos!” heart emojis, and conversation going back and forth between guests and staff, we were reminded of the deep connection between the hotel, its guests, the Foundation, and Jamaica. Thank you for being a part of this with us. We miss you and wish we could have had you all with us for a concert on the beach by Skylark instead!

When the pandemic first started back in March and the country went into lockdown, the families in her community came to Ms. Nichols, principal at Bunch of Stars School, and told her they were struggling. “We took the last food we had at the schools and gave it out to the parents who were asking for help, when it finished we didn’t know what we were going to do. That was when Rockhouse stepped in.”

Every week staples are distributed to families in need. The care packages include essential staples – 10 lb rice, 10 lb flour, chicken, 2 lb cornmeal, 2 lb sugar, 2 long life soy milk, 4 cans tin mackerel, 1/2 liter cooking oil etc.

“I am so happy to be a part of it. Rockhouse really listens and they provide us with everything we need. It’s amazing,” says Ms Nichols.

Over the past four months we have continued the weekly distribution of care packages and have sustained feeding for over 1000 people in our community. Our goal is to keep this going for as long it is needed. We have almost reached our US$100,000 goal and ask for your help to get us over the finish line. We look forward to thanking you in person for your support with a rum punch on the pool deck sometime soon!