When I first heard about Pack for a Purpose I thought it was a wonderful idea and may encourage guests to bring a few stationery supplies for the local schools while also giving a bit of extra publicity to our ecolodge resort, Rivertime Ecolodge Resort, about 30 km outside Vientiane, Laos. However, during the almost two years we have been working together the relationship has blossomed and the response from guests has been wonderful!
Our projects have gone from just a few stationery supplies at the start to libraries in three of the local schools, ceiling fans in 10 classrooms (so far!) to full-blown summer camps teaching football/soccer, world geography and English to three local schools with football shirts and footballs all round. We have had numerous guests who came here to stay who heard about us through Pack for a Purpose including a lady from Perth, Australia, Heather Stevenson, who donated $175 for five ceiling fans, an English guest who donated $100 for books for the local school libraries and several other guests who donated enough for either a ceiling fan or some more books.
Most recently, we had a lovely lady from the United States, Lizbeth Meredith, who came and stayed here and liked both the ecolodge and our projects so much then arranged a Luncheon for Lao Literacy event in her home state of Alaska and raised a magnificent $800 donation for our projects! We now plan to finish off our Ceiling Fan in every classroom project, since it does get swelteringly hot here at certain times of the year which must make learning very difficult, plus stock up the school libraries some more, since there are around 800 kids in one school, 700 in another and 120 in the third school we support so they have to take turns with the books quite a lot. We are so pleased with this fruitful partnership!