Gap Adventures, Planterra raise funds for Kenya drought relief

The Kenya drought is the worst in decadesEarlier this week, adventure travel company Gap Adventures and non-profit organization Planeterra joined forces in an effort to raise funds for drought relief in Kenya. The two organizations challenged the adventure travel community to raise $25,000, and that community responded en masse, raising the funds in just six hours.

The severe drought that has hit East Africa has created significant problems for the inhabitants of that part of the world. Many of them have left their homes in Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, and Kenya for refugee camps located in a northern part of that country. That influx of people has put a severe strain on the aid stations there and stretched already thin resources to the limit.

In order to relieve that strain more water stations need to be built, which is what Gap Adventures and Planeterra had hoped to accomplish when they appealed to their travel communities for funds. What they didn’t expect was such a generous outpouring of support from travelers, who helped them reach their goal in a short time, but kept giving even after the target amount was hit. In fact, the donations are still coming in, and are being accepted and managed by CARE Canada.

As one of the leading adventure travel companies in the world, Gap has always been at the forefront of giving back to the countries which they visit. The company also helped to launch Planeterra, a non-profit that offers assistance to local people around the globe, helping them to create a sustainable approach to tourism and preserving their culture.

Raising $25,000 in just six hours is very impressive and heartwarming. It is a testament to how much the travel community wants to give back to the places that we visit, and while we’re all facing challenging economic times, we can still find a way to reach out and help others in their time of need.

[Photo courtesy of CARE Canada]

Gadling Take Five: Oct. 17–Oct. 23

Each time I read through posts for Gadling Take Five, I look for those that may have been missed by readers. I also look for posts that may fit together in some sort of cosmic theme. It’s often hard to choose five. While browsing the offerings this week, it seems this was a week of great ideas. This week I found a gold mine.

Here are ten great ideas:

  • When Alison was at Litquake in San Francisco she discovered The Bookmobile, a former actual Bookmobile that has been turned into an experiential gathering place for readers, if you will. If you see the Bookmobile somewhere along the Lincoln Highway this year, step inside. You might encounter a famous author driving it. The material being gathered during the Bookmobile’s journey will be turned into a documentary.
  • A good idea worth considering is reducing the number of traffic signs. Although Aaron is a swell driver, he’s given some thought to how he might be better at it if there were fewer signs to distract him. There is research to prove him right. Fewer signs have been shown to decrease accidents.
  • As world travelers, we’re often introduced to problems we wouldn’t have been otherwise. In Tibet, blindness is a problem. In Sean’s post on the Planeterra Foundation, you can read more about the organization’s wonderful idea to tackle blindness and how you might get involved.
  • Kraig, who knows a thing or two about adventure travel, highlights the reasons why hiking the Continental Divide Trail is a good idea. In the case of hiking this trail, Kraig suggests a good idea is to plan for extremes. For example, on one section there’s a lack of water. On another, you’ll be on the look out for grizzles.
  • Here are two airlines with great ideas. KLM is giving away personalized luggage tags. Scott tells you how to get them. Virgin America is considering testing out this good idea. Those without carry-ons can board first. Alison did think about how this good idea might not be so good after all.
  • If you’re on a long flight, Tom has come up with great ideas for how to be more productive. Since one of my favorite things to do on a plane is zone out, Tom’s tips are extra handy.
  • For anyone looking for where to have a destination wedding. Look no further than St. Maarten. Katie has the scoop on why having a wedding on this island is a great idea. It’s free.
  • You probably came across Annie’s post on 10 things not to forget to pack when you go on a trip. Pajamas is one of them, something I consistently forget.
  • Here’s a good idea that might be a bit weird. I found out about GoGirl, a device that helps women pee like men.
  • And here’s a shout out to Heather’s grand idea even though it’s already found great press. It’s such a great idea, I had to include it. Heather has turned Laviator into a household word. I still have yet to become a Laviator. It’s probably because of my tendency to zone out on a plane. One of these days, though–one of these days.