Posts in Category: Team Updates

Pink Warriors Give Back


PT Warriors Team

The Collette Foundation donated $5,000 to the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation and foundation volunteers raised $7,000 more during National Breast Cancer Awareness month to bring the total giving to this wonderful organization to an impressive $12,000. One of the volunteers remarked, “‘Flames of Hope’ is an appropriate name for the weekend event as we encourage all battling breast cancer to continue the fight. The Collette Foundation is “paying it forward” and all of its volunteers are advocates for change in behavior and healthy living.  We are strong, we are proud and together we make a difference.”

Little Rascals School Opening!

The Collette Foundation enthusiastically announces the Little Rascals School, located in South Africa, is officially open! Having worked closely with the Knysna Education Trust, we were able to revamp their initial building and develop a safe, stable and modern establishment through funding. Focusing on Early Childhood Development Centers (ECD), the Knysna Education Trust assists 26 facilities in hopes of providing disadvantaged children with the opportunity to obtain a solid education. Through their support, children receive an integrated education giving them the chance to rightfully benefit and build from their ever-progressing surroundings. Now the children of Little Rascals will be able to participate in preschool activities with a more focused approach due to their motivational atmosphere. We look forward to hearing more about the benefits of the new school!

Progress in Cambodia

Having been in partnership with JWOC (Journeys Within Our Community) since 2008, the Collette Foundation is enthusiastic about future projects with the Cambodian site as previous collaborative efforts have proven to be rewarding from every angle. In the year 2012, the Collette Foundation was able to fund JWOC in essential projects such as the completion of a community center for the village, the implementation of library activities, installation of wells to provide a clean water system for the entire village and the start of new children’s classes rooted in creativity and education.

With the completion of the community center came not only a safe and secure building to meet, but the building was designed to include both classrooms and bathrooms for the village. Both the library and community center are home to education regarding learning resources targeted to those less than 8 years old and hygiene education, in which additionally provided hygienic kits for children. Most importantly, funding from the Collette Foundation enabled JWOC to install a clean water system. The infant mortality rate in Cambodia is 43 per 1,000, significantly higher than the United States. Through the installation of wells, the village will be able to exercise a higher level of hygiene and continue to improve their sanitation through the use of clean water.

The funding provided in 2012 by the Collette Foundation will continue to help in the year of 2013 by supporting the installation of four more wells in a rural village and the continuation of the under 8’s classes. We hope to continue our partnership with JWOC and further our support of future projects regarding its education and health.

Stanley Park Numbers Rising

The Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) connects children, ages 5-12, with the splendor of Vancouver’s natural environment. Funding from the Collette Foundation has resulted in even greater success in 2012! Having just completed our second year of partnership with SPES, we are proud to acknowledge the achievements thus far as a result of a collaborative effort.  In 2011, 400 children and their families took part in various activities and excursions within the Park hosted by SPES. In 2012, that number grew to more than 800! Visits to the park by school children through the assisted funding of the Collette Foundation grew from 75 to 154 in just one year.

SPES offers inspiring events such as “Explorer Day” field trips as well as weekend exploration days where children and their families spend 2 hours of exploration within the park, learning about native plants and trees, animals and conservation of the local environment.

What child doesn’t like to jump in puddles or run through forest trails pretending they are a great explorer! I’m proud to say, funding from the Collette Foundation has enabled SPES staff to offer educational outreach programs to children in disadvantaged areas, but more importantly have had the ability to offer subsidies to schools so that children have the opportunity to visit and explore the Park!

As the philosopher Lao Tze once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Through continued funding from the Collette Foundation in 2013 and efforts of both SPES staff and volunteers, the quest to engage and teach children about the wonders of nature will continue.

Warm Wishes

The Collette Foundation received a warming Christmas card this year from our Peruvian site, Hogar de Mercedes de Jesus Molina Orphanage. Partnering with the Peruvian Hearts, the Collette Foundation has been able to support orphaned girls along with providing a daily lunch program allowing for disadvantaged children in the area to receive a hot meal.

The card was directed to the project’s ambassador, Kevin Ferguson. He kindly translated the card to share the kind words.

Season Greetings and thanks for all the support we received from you every time you come to visit our home. Also, the girls join this greeting and send you their fond memories, especially those who are finishing high school in May and are grateful for everything that you have done, because you’re always like a father and a friend that they will never forget. With all these feelings and wishes you a nice Christmas and Happy New Year filled with God’s blessings.

Hermana Yudith

Upon sharing the Christmas card, Ferguson recalled how much he cherished his time spent at the foundation site.

“The girls are growing up in front of my eyes and I still cry (after countless visits) when I leave those kids,” he said.

We love how invested our ambassadors and teams become in their sites and are grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside the Peruvian Hearts to support Hogar de Mercedes de Jesus Molina Orphanage.

La Granja Hogar Under New Leadership

Team Mexico’s site, La Granja Hogar in Chihuahua, is increasingly growing and with the help and support of the Collette Foundation, their needs are being aided. Celebrating their 50th year, La Granja Hogar has extended their embrace to 200 orphaned and abandoned children allowing them a place to be loved. With the assistance of the Collette Foundation for almost seven years now, La Granja Hogar has thrived in an environment that has provided some difficulty both environmentally and economically. With the hard work and dedication of their retiring Director, Sister Ana Ramirez, the boarding school developed into a stable home providing an array of education, activities and life skills.

“Sister Ana Ramirez is retiring this year, but will stay on a little while to help the new director settle in,” Mexico project ambassador Chris Cahill said. “I had the chance to meet Sister Ana several years ago and I could tell that she just loved the children as her own. She had such a great enthusiasm about her and the minute we started talking about the home and the children, her face lit up and she had a beaming smile! We wish Sister Ana the best in her next adventure in life and look forward to getting to know and working with her replacement, Ma. Antonieta  Marquez Horta.”

The Collette Foundation welcomes La Granja Hogar’s new director and is excited to continue their efforts to give the children a well-balanced lifestyle.

Calling all interested Collette Employees!!

The Collette Foundation is looking for new employee volunteers to lead it’s efforts around the globe! Are you passionate about making the world a better place? Do you have a few extra hours each month to maintain and manage a project in a needy community?

The foundation will be holding interviews on July 7th to find new members. Please note that you must be employed at Collette for at least 90 days to become part of the Collette Foundation team. Also, you must have your managers approval.

Please complete the application form – click here, (the application is an attachment to the sharepoint announcement) and return it to

The foundation is looking for interested employees to manage the following projects: Ecuador, Egypt, USA, Italy, and India.  You must be willing to research your chosen destination to find potential partners, foster the partnership and work with the product department to facilitate the on-tour site visit experience for clients.

If you have any questions please email or buzz Allison Villasenor at x. 3030.

Collette’s UK Office Launches Foundation Initiative

The UK office of Collette Vacations, Collette Worldwide Holidays, has launched an initiative to support their local community. They will be working together to support the Lynda Jackson Macmillian Centre, a cancer center based at Mount Vernon Hospital, near the office in Uxbridge, Middlesex.

Seven employees from the UK office have undergone a rigorous application process that included Criminal Background Checks as well as training both at the Mount Vernon hospital and at the office in Uxbridge.

Beginning April 2011, the team will be participating actively as volunteers at the  Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre. The center is pioneering in their efforts for Patient Information Services. The volunteers will be working specifically on a Patient Information Prescription service (IPS).  Clients choose to use this service at the time of meeting with their health care providers and the team will be collating the information for them that they have requested using an online service that produces a personalized package for the patient.

The LJMC is a drop in centre where patients or families and caregivers,  can visit, talk, ask questions, and receive information in the form of leaflets, DVD’s, books , CD’s as well as access  a reference library and a telephone helpline.

The Centre also offers benefits in the form of advice, counseling  sessions, complimentary therapies such as reflexology, aromatherapy, ear acupuncture, Indian head massage, reiki, relaxations sessions – these benefits can be accessed by patients as well as caregivers.  A “ Look Good….Feel Better” area for skincare and make-up workshops is also available for patients.

The LJMC is partially funded by the Mount Vernon Hospital but the remainder of its running costs are dependant on grants, voluntary donations and fundraising activities.  The LJMC does not charge for its services. Collette Worldwide Holidays is excited to be involved in such a great cause in the local community. The employees will be giving their time and also fundraising for the cause.

The Collette Foundation receives Global Award at WTM in London

 At a ceremony, held in London on Monday, November 8th at World Travel Market, The Collette Foundation was the recipient of a WTM Global Award. The award recognizes individuals and companies which have made the greatest contribution to travel and tourism in the last year.

The Collette Foundation was recognized for its work around the world to help children in communities where its parent company, Collette Vacations, operates. Citing examples such as the construction of a library in Cambodia, cyclone-proof houses in Fiji, an education center in Kenya, a welfare school in Tibet, a school dormitory in Mexico, an orphanage in Peru,  children’s community center in Belfast as well as supporting an educational trust in South Africa, and medical relief efforts in Haiti, World Travel Market felt that the Foundation met the award criteria of actively demonstrating  an unparalleled commitment and value to the progress of the travel and tourism industry, providing an outstanding and major contribution to the industry at a local, national or global level.

In addition, the Foundation supports a program for children of incarcerated parents in their home state of Rhode Island to try to stop the intergenerational cycle of poverty, crime and addiction. Collette Foundation project sites are managed by employee volunteers; travelers on Collette tours to the area can visit and participate in the projects as well.

“We are thrilled to accept this prestigious award,” said Daniel J. Sullivan, Jr., Collette president and CEO. “The fact that it honors the success of companies who have changed the face of travel and tourism within their markets or on a global scale is humbling and the recognition will serve to encourage our employees and remind them that they are making a difference.”  

Accepting the award on behalf of Collette Vacations was Paul Palmer, UK Operations Manager, Collette Worldwide Holidays.

We are so thankful for our great partners on the ground, our employees and corporate partners – THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Employee Ambassador Heads to Kenya!

In just 7 short weeks from today I’ll be on my way to Kenya and our first stop will be the Tenderfeet Education Center.  During our group visit we will be preparing & serving lunch to the children.  The Foundation has funded the meal program since 2007 so we thought it would be only fitting to help prepare & serve the afternoon meal to the kids!  I’m extremely excited to meet the woman who started this school on her own—and has successfully grown it to 80 children.  So much has happened over the past year with the new school construction and opening as well as more children now attending.

It is a dream come true to now have this wonderful opportunity to visit the site I have been working on for just over 3 years…  Stay tuned there will be plenty to share with you when I return home!!!

Until then,