Frequently Asked Questions
Who can use Pack for a Purpose?
All travelers can participate. Travelers and responsible tourists can add value to their vacations, honeymoons or business trips by using the information found at this link: https://www.packforapurpose.org/participate/as-a-traveler/. When you choose to take needed supplies for community projects at your destination, the graciousness of your act not only enriches the local community, but also enhances the joy of travel.
How do I participate?
Participation is easy! Below are the five steps.
1. Select your destination.
2. Find an accommodation or tour company and a project it supports.
3. Choose the supplies you wish to take from the specific items requested.
4. Drop off the supplies at the accommodation or tour company.
5. The supplies will then be delivered to the community-based project.
May I deliver the supplies directly to the project?
Pack for a Purpose asks that you deliver the supplies to the accommodation or tour company listed on our website rather than to the project. This is necessary because we ensure transparency from our accommodations and tour companies by requiring them to report back to us three times a year with the weight of the supplies received from travelers. If the supplies are delivered to the project and not them they will not have this information to report to us.
We want to ensure that the supplies are delivered at a convenient time and without disrupting the community projects. This can only be determined on a local level.
Can I purchase supplies locally?
Pack for a Purpose supports participants who wish to provide “Buy Local” information if applicable. This information will be found on each participant’s page. If the participant you are taking supplies for does not have that information, we recommend you contact them directly to see what is possible.
May I visit the orphanage?
Pack for a Purpose does not condone visiting orphanages, as this can often lead to negative impacts on children. The accommodation or tour company working with the orphanage will deliver the supplies in a coordinated and respectful way so that the children can benefit from them. Your generosity is not diminished because you do not interact with the children.
May I visit the school?
Visiting a local school can only be arranged by directly contacting the accommodation or tour company working with the school. Having the school day interrupted by unannounced guests, even those with the best intentions, can be very disruptive. While sometimes having a guest speaker at a school is a wonderful opportunity for students, prearranging this is a respectful way to interact with the local community school and insure it is a benefit to the students.
May I still participate if I’m not staying at an accommodation or using a tour company listed on the website?
Yes. All accommodations and tour companies on the Pack for a Purpose website are delighted to receive requested supplies for their community-based projects even if you are not a guest at that accommodation or using that tour company.
If you have questions regarding the logistics, you will need to contact the accommodation or tour company directly. You will need to deliver the supplies yourself to the tour company or accommodation.
However, if you have a large group that will be taking more than 50 lbs or 25 kgs of supplies, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to assist you in seeing if it is possible to have the supplies picked up at the accommodation where you are staying. Logistics can be complicated, so it is best to deliver the supplies yourself.
Is there a limit to the amount of supplies I can take?
No. While we recommend 5 lbs (2.27 kgs), travelers can take whatever they are able to. Many travelers have used all their checked luggage to take supplies while other travelers take only 1 kg. Whatever requested supplies travelers take are greatly appreciated!
I want to take medical, school and sporting supplies. What is the most efficient way to pack them in my luggage? Are there specific requirements I should be aware of regarding medicines?
Each category has its own specific instructions to minimize the space required in your luggage and protect the items. For specific details, please visit our How to Pack page.
How can I find more information about your organization for media coverage or to help publicize Pack for a Purpose?
Please visit our Media Room, which features our press kit, logos, brochure and videos.
How can I participate if I don’t travel?
You may always make a donation to support the work of Pack for a Purpose. If you are a U.S. citizen, your donation is fully tax deductible.