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Things to offer other than money...

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Toronto
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Things to offer other than money...

I always feel like I want to give money to everyone that asks when I'm travelling. Is there anything Jamaican's look for that they can't get in Jamaica thay I can bring with rather than money? little things.

also do you need to take travellers cheques? I know it is the Jamaican dollar down there.

Really freakin...
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1. Re: Things to offer other than money...

Apparantly school supplies is a popular gift/donation, however it's not like they can't get those down there. I've been trying to research info about how that works, if it's best to buy supplies here then bring them with or to buy them once you're down there. I'll update this thread if I get any info.

I'm not sure about CAN currency. I know there are plenty of places there, such as at the airport to exchange for JA $. I've read that folks down there are just as happy to accept US $ as they are for JA currency.

Illinois
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591 posts
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2. Re: Things to offer other than money...

Jamaicans have to pay to send their children to school & after tuition, uniforms...sometimes there isn't funds available for the necessary supplies.

So by all means, bring some school supplies with! Anything & everything is accepted & appreciated!! Notebooks (w/lined paper), folders, flashcards, activity books, pencils/pens, erasers, stickers, etc.

LL

Scotland
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133 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: Things to offer other than money...

I think that that is a really kind gesture! I would never of thought of doing something like that. If I ever go back I might do that.

ontario canada
2 posts
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4. Re: Things to offer other than money...

when is the best time to give them their gifts....before or after they have serviced your needs? For example....do you give them a pencil every time you get a drink or would you just give them a gift at the end of the vacation or at the beginning so that way you will get continued good service throughout the week. Totally clueless on this gift giving thing...i just always gave money as tips but by the sounds of it they appreciate the school supplies more than anything. One more thing, how do you even know if they have a child going to school?

montreal
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11,515 posts
25 reviews
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5. Re: Things to offer other than money...

Oh boy .... lol

Ok hang on... God bless everyone who brings everything and anything to help. As for school supplies, I DONT suggest you start handing out them as 'individual" gifts to the staff in place of tips... EITHER bring them as a package to go to a school or to be given as a package to one or a FEW staff members you happen to meet and learn that have children.

Gonz...

DEFINATELY much less expensive to buy most supplies here in North America. The dollar stores carry almost everything and other large outlets have excellent deals on bulk suppllies too...

God bless you one and all for everything you do to help. Please remember to be tactful and respectful in how you OFFER your gifts.

Blessings and respect to all.

Steve

Cuenca, Spain
Destination Expert
for Jamaica
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9,628 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Things to offer other than money...

Hello seejrun and Ontariocouple,

Please look for the thread called Going to Jamaica, what can you do? by WHAMS, on this page. Please take the time to read some of the heart warming posts. Hope you get some ideas!

Somewhere on Earth...
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1,685 posts
4 reviews
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7. Re: Things to offer other than money...

As has been said school supplies is always a winner. For staff we always take perfume from Victoria's Secret to hand out. For example, we give our housekeeper/maid one, favorite bartender, restaurant staff, etc.

From Steve we learned to take sandpaper, shoe wax, and things like that to give to the craftspeople.

The Jamaican people work so hard pleasing us, I feel guilty not trying to give some little something back.

We never take travelers checks. Small bill denominations is best since the exchange rate is 62JA$ to 1US$.

Illinois
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591 posts
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8. Re: Things to offer other than money...

In the past, I've made a point to ask around at the resort or (perhaps) a favorite bar/restaurant as to who on staff has kids...I then make up "packs" to hand out during our stay in addition to tipping.

LL

boston
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63 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Things to offer other than money...

Hard to nail down a gift without the relationship! We have brought anything within reason that people have requested- Kids clothing, Yarn (you will probaly get a really cool tam back for your efforts, Jewelry making supplies, etc.. you will know when you meet a new friend- as stated in other posts- everything is double the price and the average jamacian wages our $20 per week so anything goes a long way...

Calgary, Canada
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30 posts
16 reviews
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10. Re: Things to offer other than money...

We are heading to Negril this Saturday (2 more sleeps!!) and we are going with a friend of ours who gets there 3-4 times a year and says it's a really friendly gesture to give the locals things like small shampoos/conditioners, creams, make up (Bonnie Bell lip glosses etc.), hats/shirts from where you're from and things like that. This is our first trip down, so we've stocked up on this stuff.

I'm just not sure when it's appropriate to "hand this stuff out". I wouldn't want to insult them. We're not staying in an all inclusive (we'll be soaking up the sun on the cliffs at the Blue Cave Castle), so I guess leaving them for the hotel staff would work. I was also told that you can barter for a lot of things with cigarettes. Even if you don't smoke, they might be a good "trading" tool!

Have fun!! I know we will!