This past spring my family and I decided to take a trip to visit our friends in Lima, Peru. I thought this might be a good opportunity to work on the service project I needed to finish my Eagle Scout rank. I really wanted to do something to help underprivileged children and make a positive impact on their lives. I hopped online and searched for local charities that could match me with someone in Lima, Peru. I found the perfect fit with Pack for a Purpose. They are easy to work with and make going anywhere in the world a possible service opportunity. For my project, I organized my school and church groups to gather requested supplies for a Women and Children’s shelter supported by Hotel Antigua Miraflores in Huanuco. It was a fantastic project and I can’t wait to do it again. It was fun to work with all those who supported me through this process.
I grabbed the collection bins with a few friends from my scout troop. I was surprised that my Junior High teachers presented me with a gift card along with the donations to buy even more supplies. They were so generous and supportive. When I told my grandparents about the project, they were happy to pitch in money as well. Pack for a Purpose had list of supplies and needs from the shelter on their website, which made getting the things they needed easy. We went on a little shopping spree, and my brother and I were able to get specialty items that were not already donated. I am sure those items will really help the shelter. It was crazy how willing people were to help out and it really added up quickly.
Once we had all the supplies, my scout troop came over to my garage on a Saturday afternoon to pack it all up. We bought some pizza and root beer and laid everything out to and started packing. Working with my mom, we found that that we could check two 50lbs. bags per person for our trip on the airplane. We only needed three bags for our own luggage, so that left five 50lbs. bags for donations. The plan was to pack up ~200lbs. in four bags but we ended up using all five. It took a few carts and lots of nice people to get five extra-large duffle bags to Peru, but it was definitely worth it.
I was a little nervous about what we needed to do to get through customs in Peru, but it was surprisingly easy. All of the policy information we found said that if it is a donation for charity and there are not any food items, you are good to go. We went through customs with no drama at all. Our friends in Peru organized a van to pick us up and help us deliver the supplies to the Hotel Antigua Miraflores the same day we were headed downtown. With only a 30-minute detour, we were able to deliver almost 250 lbs. of supplies to the shelter. The hotel staff were very nice and professional. I filled out the paperwork, unloaded the supplies and left knowing that we made at least a few childrens’ home and school experience a bit better.
I owe a big thanks to everyone who donated and helped me with this project. I could not have done it without all of your help. It is amazing how many people are willing to help when you have a good cause and extend yourself a little. Using the information from Pack for a Purpose and their website made it a lot easier to organize. It ended up to being a great project and a lot of fun- it really made the whole trip for my family and me. A big shout out to Pack for a Purpose for being such a great program. I would recommend it to anyone traveling to one of their participating hotels or anywhere nearby.