The Road to Becoming a PfaP Board Member

Despite the Covid-19 Pandemic, 2020 has had some really great silver linings for me. Other than having the most unusual amount of family time at home, I have been spending more time learning about ways to make travel more meaningful. I couldn’t be more humbled by the request from Rebecca Rothney, Founder of Pack for a Purpose, to join their board this year.

Rebecca and I go way back to April 2011, I connected with Rebecca to learn more about PfaP’s mission and how we might collaborate to support local communities just a few months after I launched Vacations That Matter. I have been fortunate to travel with my family for many years and each time we visited a destination, we would purchase gifts of school supplies, basic needs or clothing to share with local community kids, our guides and accommodation staff. We also visited schools and local villages when appropriate and not disruptive.

My daughters on a PfaP shopping trip.

I was fascinated by the idea that Rebecca had started a non-profit to share this idea with travelers around the world but more importantly the idea of bringing “needed supplies” to projects that were already being supported by local accommodations. We were on the same wavelength and our friendship continued to grow.

My daughter reading to school children on one of our trips.

I loved the idea so much that not only was I Packing for a Purpose each time I traveled but I was sharing the idea and website with my clients. I became a true advocate and ambassador for Pack for a Purpose as I started thinking about all the accommodations that could join PfaP. I asked Rebecca for a stack of business cards and I’d hand them out along with my business card during networking events and conferences. It was exciting to see Sandals Resorts join PfaP based on my connection with the Sandals team and their foundation.

Painting as volunteers at a project supported by Beaches Turks & Caicos.

Since then I’ve introduced many people and organizations to PfaP and Rebecca and most recently I was able to introduce them to the Signature Travel Network within my capacity as a board member of Travel Elevates, which supports initiatives in popular travel destinations worldwide.

I couldn’t be happier to be serving on the board alongside Rebecca and the wonderful team at PfaP. It feels great to be in the company of like-minded, heart centered and conscious travelers who simply want to make a Big Impact.

Given the year we’ve had with the pandemic, racial tensions and the desire to be more mindful of our actions which impact others, when I speak of the silver linings, I’m talking about all the things that I’ve had the time and opportunity to do and reflect on. Gratitude keeps coming up in everything and everywhere.

Thank you letters written to us by the girls we visited in Mexico.

I can’t travel – But I can continue to make a difference for the local communities who need us more than ever right now.

I’m stuck at home – but I’ve never had this kind of quality time with my family and my girls.

I can’t go to indoor restaurants or have gatherings with friends – but I have plenty of food, a roof over my head, and technology to connect.

My daughters handing out snacks to children in Kenya.

I have zoom fatigue – But I still have a livelihood and my health.

This list can go on and on, I am absolutely grateful for my career in the travel industry, the opportunities we’ve had to show our daughters how others live life in various parts of the world and what we can appreciate about our freedoms. It has opened our minds, changed our perspectives, and inspired kinder hearts and richer souls which is what I hope to inspire as a board member of PfaP.

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