NC State Students Pack for a Purpose on Spring Break in Mexico
I have had the unique opportunity to work for Pack for a Purpose as a social media intern this past semester and have really enjoyed learning the ins and outs of this nonprofit. However, to truly understand the impact of this organization, I knew I had to Pack for a Purpose someday, but I wasn’t expecting the opportunity to come along during my internship!
My friends and I had been planning to go to Cabo for Spring Break, and I remember asking Rebecca if there were an PfaP destinations in Cabo. When she revealed that yes, there was a participant in Cabo, I was ecstatic. Although it wasn’t the resort we would be staying at, I knew it would be very easy to coordinate a drop off with them.
I shared the supply request page with all my friends and my friend’s parents who were going with us. They were all very excited to participate. I also started communicating with the hotel staff to let them know we would be bringing donations, and we were able to seamlessly organize a convenient time to come by.
Us girls definitely have a tendency to overpack our suitcases, so I was relieved when I realized there was a Walmart in Cabo where we could buy supplies in case someone didn’t have any space in their bag. However, I wanted to be sure to actually “Pack” for a Purpose, so I ran to a nearby dollar tree the day before we left. I truly believe I could have spent an hour in there picking out supplies! It was so fun to choose rainbow hair ties and fun pens and such-I tried to think about what I would have wanted as a child.
I was a little nervous as I was packing that I wouldn’t be able to fit in my donations, but it was much easier than I thought. Small things like pencil sharpeners, a pack of alphabet cards, Band-Aids, and hair ties can fit in the tiny spaces between clothes, shoes, etc, so I was pleasantly surprised when everything fit perfectly between my carry-on suitcase and my backpack!
My friend’s mom even dedicated her entire carry-on bag to the donations and added fun things like board games to our collection. My other friends grabbed a few things like pens, pencils, and chalk when we were grocery shopping in Cabo. Together, we were able to cover the entire table on our patio with the supplies. I was in awe of how much we were able to collect as a group!
We had a wonderful experience dropping our donations off at Sandos Finisterra. We were greeted by Nicki, the Sandos Hotel Manager, and Sofy, the HR Coordinator. They gave us a tour of the property with some breathtaking views of the city and ocean. They also treated us to cupcakes and coffee at the bakery, or as Nicki called it, “the sweetest place in the resort!”
We later found out that our donations amassed to 14 pounds! It was evident how grateful they were to receive our donations. We were all struck by the hospitality of the Sandos staff and touched by their genuine appreciation for our efforts. Once we left, we all talked about how nice it was to give back to Cabo in this way. Our only regret was that we couldn’t bring more with us!
My friend’s parents had been coming to Cabo for 20 years, and had never heard of Pack for a Purpose. They remarked that after our wonderful experience, they would always try to bring supplies with them for years to come.
After the last couple months of posting all about our participants and sharing traveler stories, I am so thankful I was able to become a Pack for a Purpose traveler myself! PfaP now has an entirely different meaning for me because I have seen its importance with my own eyes. I want to encourage all travelers to see if there is a Pack for a Purpose accommodation near where they will be staying. Even if it is not the hotel or resort where you will be staying, all participants are grateful to receive supplies from anyone. It is so easy for anyone to participate in this initiative, even college students going on Spring Break like me. It doesn’t have to be an entire suitcase packed full with donations- I can confirm that no matter how much you are able to bring with you, it will be appreciated and will make a difference!