Travel that Truly Makes a Difference
Over the years I have taken many trips to Africa and each time I have tried to add some sort of community aspect to my trip. Bringing supplies to school children in South Africa when visiting Ulusaba, visiting an orphanage in Kenya to finger paint while on a Micato Safari and delivering letters written by my children and their classmates to a school in Botswana were only a few of the ways I have tried to make a small difference. Each time, my hope was to give a little back to the country and people that gave me such amazing life changing experiences and so graciously opened up their country to me. But what happens if you are not traveling with a tour company like Micato Safari’s or Wilderness Safari’s, who offer a structured program which allow guests to help out?
The answer I found is a non-profit organization called Pack For A Purpose, www.packforapurpose.org This website allows travelers to search for the destination and hotel they are visiting and get the name of a local community program and a list of supplies that are needed. The don’t ask you to fill an entire suitcase, unless you want to of course, but just add a few items to the extra room you may have left over for souvenirs you may bring home. With just five pounds in your luggage you could bring 400 pencils, 5 deflated soccer balls or a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and 500 band aids. This may seem like a small effort but could make a huge difference to a community in need.
The great thing about this website is that it is not just limited to Africa but covers most of the world. Another great aspect is that there is absolutely no cost to the traveler or the hotel, resort or lodge to participate. This site is simply a resource for travelers. The only thing they require is a desire to help out.
I encourage everyone to Pack for a Purpose when they travel and encourage hotels around the world to take a moment and register. The reward is the fact that you can make a huge difference five pounds at a time.