When traveling abroad, I often find myself frantically running around the airport shops before my flight home, trying to spend the last of my spare foreign currency. Although I attempt to make smart purchase choices, I usually end up just grabbing cheap junk I’ll never look at again.
Fortunately, numerous airline carriers, like American Airlines, Qantas and Cathay Pacific, are partnering with UNICEF to take part in their Change For Good program. The project takes traveler’s spare change and uses it to help children in need.
According to Smithsonian’s The Constant Traveler, proceeds have gone to purchasing immunizations, birth registration and HIV/AIDS prevention efforts, helping earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan as well as drought sufferers in the Horn of Africa. Furthermore, airline staff is often deeply committed to the project, sometimes even visiting the communities where the funds are being put to use.
If you’re flying with an airline that doesn’t participate in the program, you can still mail in your spare foreign change. Click here for more information.
[Image via bradipo]