Adventure Safari Brings Easy Way To Give Back

safari

Traveling almost anywhere around the world, we see people in need. Many struggle to survive in endangered areas or in a place where an earthquake, tsunami or another natural disaster has occurred. But those in need can be located at stops along our way in the Caribbean, South America, Europe or some other areas too. In the past, it has been hard not to feel the need to help, but often more difficult to know what we can do with the limited time and resources we bring when traveling. Then we found Pack For A Purpose (PFAP), a non-profit organization that lets us give back in a very meaningful way.

Eleven years ago, during their first trip to Africa, Scott and Rebecca Rothney learned that while they were each limited to 40 pounds of luggage on safari, their airline had an allowance of 100 pounds of checked luggage, plus a 40-pound carry-on.

To make a long story short, the Georgia couple asked themselves, with an attitude typical of their Southern hospitality, “Why not take advantage of that unused weight and bring along supplies that will fulfill some need?” They noted how it wouldn’t cost fliers anything to ship and that they could be doing some good. With this in mind, the two launched Pack For A Purpose.

“In making plans for a second trip, we looked into visiting a school near the lodge we would visit in Botswana,” says Rothney. “We contacted our safari company, Wilderness Safaris, to see if we could determine any specific needs of that school. Armed with that information, we were able to deliver 140 pounds (64 kg) of school supplies, including soccer balls, to the school.”

%Gallery-180487%Building on that experience but making it easy by asking travelers to pack just five pounds (2.27 kg) of various supplies, the idea was to involve everyone who wanted to add value to their trip by participating.

travelers give backTo make it even easier, the destinations travelers might visit are organized on the PFAP website by continent, then by country, resort, lodging or tour. Travelers who are considering a land vacation or going on a cruise that stops in Jamaica, for example, will find 18 different properties listed where supplies can be dropped off.

The idea worked. In the first three years of operation, PFAP has been instrumental in delivering over 17,000 pounds of supplies.

Making even more sense of the PFAP plan, Rothney said “We don’t look at it as ‘charity’. It’s a way of saying ‘thank you’ and showing our appreciation for the wonderful experience we have in these places we visit,” in a telephone interview with Gadling.

Think about that for a minute: can you spare five pounds worth of space in luggage?

Pack For A Purpose
points out that five pounds translates to:

  • 400 Pencils, or
  • 5 deflated soccer balls with an inflation device, or
  • A stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and 500 bandages.

All are much-needed supplies at a variety of locations around the world.

Check this video with Rebecca Rothney explaining what Pack For A Purpose is all about:



[Images – Pack For A Purpose]

You can help save an ancient Egyptian palace


The palace of Egypt’s most enigmatic pharaoh needs your help. Akhenaten ruled from c. 1351-1334 BC and is famous for his devotion to the god Aten, an aspect of the Sun. His worship became more and more exclusive over the years and while he wasn’t a monotheist in the strict sense of the word, he certainly alienated the priests of other temples. He also left the traditional capital and built his own by the Nile at Amarna.

Since 1997 the Amarna Project has been restoring this one-of-a-kind site for posterity. In the spring of 2011 they’re planning a major project to finish work on the Royal Suite, where Akhenaten himself lived. They’ve set up a webpage at JustGiving where you can contribute to the project. Conservation Architect Surésh Dhargalkar and his team will be doing the work, and the donations will go toward their pay and materials. You can read more about their work here.

Once Akhenaten died, the worship of the Aten fell out of favor and his city was abandoned to the sands. Thus Amarna makes a unique slice of time for archaeologists to study and an important place to preserve.

Special thanks to Andie over at the Egyptology blog for bringing this to my attention.

[Photo of Aten temple at Amarna courtesy user Markh via Wikimedia Commons]

Passports with Purpose: Travel bloggers fundraise for Heifer International

‘Tis the season as they say. Yes, you could take part in the hectic Christmas shopping frenzy, or you could put your money to more philanthropic efforts. That’s exactly the goal of Passports with Purpose, the brainchild of four travel bloggers: Debbie Dubrow of Delicious Baby, Pam Mandel of Nerd’s Eye View, Michelle Duffy of WanderMom, and Beth Whitman of Wanderlust and Lipstick. The blogging divas all decided that this holiday season it was time to give back, launching PWP to allow travel bloggers the chance to help raise funds for Heifer International.

Each participating blogger — and if you’re up on your travel blogs, you’ll recognize many of the names on the list — has gotten together a raffle prize. A $10 raffle ticket (which all goes to Heifer International) gets you the chance to maybe pick one of them up. Now, this isn’t your standard school raffle with homemade baked goods and a year’s worth of tree pruning; PWP prizes are something to get excited about. The list is long, but here is just a sampling:

  • 3 Nights at the Wyland Waikiki in Hawaii
  • Mountain Hardwear Women’s Mynx Jacket
  • Eagle Creek luggage
  • A collection of 5 Lonely Plant books

To take part in this great fundraiser, check out the full list of prizes, pick the one you want (or want to give to someone else!) and buy one or more $10 raffle tickets at FirstGiving. You’ll get the chance to win something cool and, at the same time, help out an organization committed to building sustainable communities around the world.