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Our mission is to positively impact communities around the world by assisting travelers who want to take meaningful contributions to the destinations they visit.
There is need everywhere in the world; however, it is sometimes difficult to identify specific needs in places far from home. We believe people fortunate enough to travel to other countries often wish they could make meaningful contributions to help meet the needs of the places they visit. Such contributions are one way of expressing appreciation for the experiences and hospitality they enjoyed in other lands.
Our goal is to assist travelers who want to say thank you in this manner or who simply want to expand their generosity beyond their own communities. The supply lists for destinations on our website are provided directly by the local community-based projects which receive and use the supplies, enabling travelers to make informed decisions and to take items which meet the needs of those who will be using them.
The Genesis of the Idea
During our first trip to Africa, my husband Scott and I learned that, while we were each limited to 40 pounds (18.14 kgs) of luggage on safari, the airline had an allowance of 100 pounds (45 kgs) of checked luggage plus a 40-pound (18.14 kg) carry-on. In making plans for a second trip, we looked into visiting a school, Mabele Primary School, near our accommodations in Botswana. We contacted our safari company, Wilderness Safaris, to see if we could determine any specific needs of that school. Armed with that information, we were able to deliver 140 pounds (64 kgs) of school supplies, including soccer balls, to the school. It was enormously rewarding to be able to help the people in the community that had given us such a life-changing experience.
Since then, we and a few of our fellow travelers have made several trips to other countries in Africa and have been able to deliver an estimated 1,000 pounds (453 kgs) in donations of clothing, school supplies and medical supplies. I asked our travel agent why other travelers did not use their luggage allowances this way. "Because nobody thinks about it," he said. That was our "aha" moment.
Scott and I knew from our experiences that taking large amounts of supplies required a great deal of time and close, logistical cooperation with the touring company. We felt we needed to come up with a simpler and more direct way for travelers to take supplies where they were going.
By asking travelers to pack 5 pounds (2.27 kgs) of supplies, we felt we would be able to involve everyone who wanted to add value to his or her trip by participating. By delivering the supplies directly to the traveler's accommodation, it would be possible for every traveler to contribute and require no logistical support. That amount would take only a small space, require little effort and still make a big impact.
I realized that to make my idea a reality, I would need the assistance and skills of many other talented people. They have generously and freely given their time and expertise. It is with gratitude that I would like to acknowledge and thank the people below, as well as those who have agreed to serve on our board.
Danielle Abraham, Linda Auerbach, Megan Bahamonde, Maria Better, Andrew Brown, Monique Brykman, Pam Caldwell, Nathan Cavicchi, Victoria Cavicchi, Sydni Collins, Ann Cramer, Marianela de Oro, Kim DeWitt, Thibaut Davy, Dinda Elliot, Megan Ellisor, Alan Finkel, Emily Ford, Jenny Knott Gilbert, Eric Goldberg, Sharon Goldberg, Hazel Gooding, Brittany Goodman, DeErricka Green, Adam Gunter, Alex Hall, Mark Hall, Mona Hall, Jared Harding, Marcia Harris, David Heuser, Sherry Heuser, Elizabeth Hodges, Melissa Hoffman, Noah Hubbell, Angela Bendorf Jamison, Rob Karn, Liz Kloster, David Langmeyer, Katherine Lawrey , Kilara Le, Angela Leimer, Sue Mitchell, Robert Mungo, Susan Pepe, Bert Du Plessis, Michelle Pudu, Benji Rabhan, Sahil Rahman, Tara Regimand, Alicia Richards, Bob Richards, Giavanna Richards, Michael Rim, Gina Santore, Joncie Sarratt, Lindsey Schaefer, Traci Stewart, Rachel Strauss, Sid Strauss, Peter Tanner, Laura Thompson, Rebecca Tuzel, Dianna Upton, Dylan van der Veen, Michael Vidal, Devon Williamson and Sarah Yonan.
Extra special thanks go to Erik Macenas who generously donated his creative talents and energy to design our logo and website.
Awards and Accolades
2014 National Geographic Travelers of the Year
Shortlisted The Observer Ethical Awards 2013
Travel+Leisure 2012 Global Vision Award
T+L Editor's Pick, Digital Initiative
Who We Are
The members of our board of directors are experienced travelers and active contributors to their communities. Our board members include entrepreneurs, professionals, and employees of local businesses. Collectively, they have traveled to all 7 continents. They also continue to be involved with many other non-profits and are committed to enhancing the global community in which they live.
Board of Directors
Pack for a Purpose has received a determination from the Internal Revenue Service that it qualifies as a charitable organization under code section 501(c)(3). All contributions to Pack for A Purpose are fully deductible.
For a copy of our application for nonprofit status, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org