When my husband and I retired and began traveling to new destinations each year, I wanted to take items that would be useful to people living in less developed countries. I knew that people with good intentions have donated things that offend other cultures or had no practical use in some circumstances – so I wanted to ensure that I was providing appropriate gifts. I did an internet search and was pleased to discover Pack for a Purpose. The founders have worked tirelessly to ensure that the organizations that are listed on the website are vetted charitable foundations and the needs lists are accurate and current. Organizations are required to provide an account of donations received and I am confident that all donations are much needed and appreciated.
When we went to the Dominican Republic, we stayed at a hotel that was a drop off depot for the Grupo Punta Cana Foundation. We left a backpack with supplies at the hotel, and later received a beautiful thank you email with a picture showing that the items had been received by a Polytechnic School (Picture shown here), and we were invited to tour the school.
Although Pack for a Purpose is based in North Carolina, U.S. and I live in Canada, technology allows me to volunteer for the organization. I’ve had the privilege of providing input from a traveler’s perspective, verifying that new participants’ websites link up to www.packforapurpose.org , researching grants to ensure the sustainability of PfaP and doing other checks to ensure that the integrity of the program is maintained. I also promote PfaP to family, friends and clubs that I am associated with, and I drop off brochures to resorts that might be interested in participating with PfaP in order to provide further support to the foundations that they sponsor.
Pack for a Purpose initially started on a small scale but has grown to be a global endeavor. It is now celebrating 10 years. As participation increases, more and more work is required. I am proud to be a small part of it.