I was recently reminded of this great program I’ve written about before. Pack for a Purpose is a non-profit organization that facilitates world travelers using what might otherwise be fallow space in their luggage to bring vital items to communities of need around the world.
If you’ve got a little wiggle room in your bags, 400 pencils for kids who have none weigh about five pounds. Same weight for five deflated soccer balls and an inflation pump…or a stethoscope a blood pressure cuff and 500 bandages. Better to fill the unused space than to have all your stuff shifting around in there, right?
It is super easy for you, the traveler, and since the organization partners with hotels in countries across the globe, they handle all the details. You go onto the website, choose your destination for your vacation or business travel, and find which hotels or guest houses in the area are participating. You drop your donation items off at that business, and they handle getting it delivered to the school or clinic or charity that desperately needs it. Based on where you are headed, they even have requested, easily transported wish list items, so you don’t have to stand in the middle of some store while juggling all your other travel details, and try to decide what to bring.
So simple, and so profoundly helpful. The network of participating accommodation properties is growing all the time, so check it out next time you’re hitting the road. If there is a fit, it is kismet, and no skin off your nose to volunteer and change some lives in the destinations you visit.