Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pack With A Purpose - Spare Luggage Aids Local Causes

Pack for a Purpose is a worthwhile organization that matches travelers and their suitcases with charities that need aid supplies delivered to developing countries.

The organization was brought to our attention by one of  their partners Ecoventura, a green cruise company operating a fleet of small expedition vessels in the Galapagos region. Ecoventura runs family oriented Galapagos cruises and has long been involved in community projects and conservation outreach..

They support this charitable organization because its mission encourages travelers to save room in their travel luggage for five pounds of school or medical supplies, items that can make a difference to communities the travelers are visiting. Pack with a Purpose works with top tour operators from around the world.

How does it work?  What a traveler is recommended to bring is determined in advance with the tour operator who manages their trip.  For example, in the Galapagos, a youth organization may need computer equipment, digital cameras, scanners, a sound system, pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, rulers, English teaching books, English/Spanish dictionaries, software and ecology-focused teaching aids. Another organization for physically and mentally challenged children needs puzzles, rubber balls, crayons, modeling clay and colored pencils.

As the experienced staff at Pack for a Purpose knows, having an extra 5 lbs (2.27 kgs) of space in your luggage can make a big impact. With that, your family can bring in:
   • 400 pencils or
   • 5 deflated soccer balls with an inflation device or
   • A stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff, & 500 band-aids

The  tour operators let clients know what supplies are needed and what local charities would like to have contributed by visitors.

School supplies, sports equipment,  and over the counter medications are just some of the supplies that travelers have brought to various Central American, South American and African countries supported by the program.

Once the delivery is made (another opportunity for your family to connect with the local cutlure), travelers are encouraged to use their free luggage space to transport handicrafts and locals items purchased at the destination. That's the ideal full circle of sustainable tourism, and we think it's great.

Please visit Pack for a Purpose for more information.

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