Since its creation in 2009, Pack for a Purpose has been a facilitator for international travelers to deliver donations of needed supplies for children through community-based initiatives around the world. In addition to this central mission, a number of individuals provide financial support to the program. Artist Deanna Fainelli, a mixed-media artist from California, generously selected Pack for a Purpose to be the recipient of a percentage of the proceeds of her art show. Other artists may also choose to assist PfaP in this way. In a letter she wrote to PfaP Ms. Fainelli shares her story:
Last spring I was in a northern California Kinko’s when a woman approached and asked if the large crumpled pieces of paper in the trash belonged to me. I had barely replied no when she grabbed the paper, tucked it under her arm and explained that as a public school teacher she routinely dumpster dives for extra classroom supplies. The brief encounter left an indelible mark on my conscience. If a teacher in an upscale community like Marin County is scrounging for supplies, imagine what is lacking in poverty-stricken areas of Central America, Africa or Asia.
I was in Kinko’s that day working on my untitled mixed-media project later to be called Wanderlust: A Visual Journal. The series was taking on a travel theme, with many of the photos coming from Asia. When I was approached by Darrylynn Kaun to do a show at her Good Works Space located in Zero Minus Plus at Fred Segal Santa Monica, I knew immediately that I wanted to tie in a nonprofit that benefited developing counties in need. When I discovered Pack for a Purpose I knew I had found the perfect fit.
Pack for a Purpose encourages travelers to pack donations of items, such as clothing, school supplies and medical supplies, when visiting developing countries. It’s a simple, brilliant idea that needs more exposure and more participants. With support from Zero Minus Plus (who contributed a beautiful gallery space as well as a portion of sales), the volunteers at Pack for a Purpose, and my friends, family and patrons, the Wanderlust show exceeded my expectations.
Over the course of two months I sold ten pieces of art and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback about the show and the concept behind Pack for a Purpose. It was a privilege to work with such committed and driven individuals. Hopefully, with persistent support and recognition, Pack for a Purpose will continue to expand and influence travelers worldwide to bring underprivileged communities basic supplies we take for granted.