There's an easy
way to make a big difference in people's lives
around the world -- and all it requires is a modest cost and some extra
room in your suitcase. Pack for a Purpose is a nonprofit program in
which participants help bring needed supplies to their travel
destinations. Here's how it works.
Go to packforapurpose.org
and select your destination. There you'll find a list of hotels and the
charitable efforts they support. Click into the hotel link to choose
from a list of needed items. You don't have to stay at a participating
hotel -- just bring the supplies to the property, which will distribute
Typical requests include clothing (including gently used
items), first-aid and school supplies, sports equipment and toys. Five
pounds of materials is the recommended donation. The website includes
tips for how best to pack the items, too.
Pack for a Purpose was
founded by Rebecca Rothney, an entrepreneur, former teacher and, with
husband Scott, an avid world traveler ("We got married in Antarctica,"
she notes). Since 2009, the program has provided vital supplies
everywhere from Belize to Zambia. "Now tour operators like Ecoventura
are coming aboard," says Rothney. "If you're thinking about CSR or team
building, give us a try!"