I first heard about the Happy Community, initiative in May of last year when MGM Source partially assisted with a business case report by conducting a survey among timeshare owners.
Will you be willing to donate to an Aruban social cause, was the question, and how much would you give.
Americans are generous people.
The survey was commissioned by the tireless Daniel Techlenborg, of CEDE ARUBA, who had the idea that he could address some local social challenges, by fund raising among our timeshare resorts.
He speculated that our repeat-repeat-repeat guests who are emotionally invested in the island would lend a hand to help youth-related activities.
He was right.
The survey results were promising.
Based on the findings Techlenborg visited the ATSA members a number of times, accompanied by Bryan Korzendijn, they reported on their progress developing the Happy Community Initiative.
The idea was to collect funds, then turn around and support local organization prepared to do the legwork for after-school activities, sports and homework assistance.
Eight of ATSA’s hotels said I do, and Techlenborg spent considerable time looking for and finding, the fundraising software, identifying and banking partner and confirming with SIAD that the donations would be tax free. That was the easiest part, Techlenborg says, it just took two weeks.
On July 1st, 2019, Stichting Centro pa Desaroyo di Aruba, CEDE Aruba, and the Aruba Timeshare Association, ATSA, held a press conference to announce the official launch of their Happy Community Initiative, at Playa Linda Beach Resort’s Members Lounge.
ATA’s CEO Ronella Tjin a Sjoe, CEDE Aruba’s President Sheila van Veen, ATSA’s President Luigi Heredia, CEDE Aruba’s Director Daniel Techlenborg and Happy Community Initiative Project Lead Kimberly Mathilda, were there to show off the attractive and friendly lobby kiosk, where donations could be made at breakneck speed.
The kids of a social project in San Nicolas joined the gathering, they were the models for the short promotional movie clip and served as poster-children.
From their website: The HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE started in January 2019 as a collaboration between CEDE Aruba and the Aruba Timeshare Association. The initiative builds a bridge between the social sector and tourism to promote social and sustainable development in Aruba. Millions of people around the world love Aruba, their home away from home! The HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE is an innovative platform that allows timeshare owners, visitors and friends from Aruba around the world to contribute to charities on the island. Timeshare owners and visitors can donate online, in hotels and in restaurants. Every local and international HORECA company that wants to contribute to the HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE is welcome to participate. For more information: www.happycommunityaruba.org, [email protected] or call 582.7666
BOTTOMLINE: If you are a youth-oriented sport, drama, art, homework-assistance organization, you may apply for funding via CEDE Aruba.