Pay it Forward Friday and Pack For a Purpose

May 2013
Pay it Forward Friday introduces the non profit organization Pack for a Purpose. Founded by husband and wife, Scott and Rebecca Rothney, the group is dedicated to helping travelers make an impact in the communities they visit. The Rothneys are avid travelers who saw a real need in the surrounding communities of the amazing sites they visited. Basic supplies for schools, under served children using blown up plastic bags for their schoolyard soccer games, clinics in need of stethoscopes. Sound like a scene on any of your travels? they wanted to help. Inspired, they created a vision: they could learn what communities specifically need and help travelers to that region meet those needs in a simple act-by telling them what to bring. And it doesn’t take much. By simply leaving that extra pair of shoes at home and packing 4 deflated soccer balls or 400 pencils instead, you can make a big impact on the lives of children in the destinations you visit.

There is need everywhere in the world. It can sometimes be difficult, however, to identify specific needs in places far from home. Pack for a Purpose believes people fortunate enough to travel to other countries often wish they could make meaningful contributions to help meet the needs of the places they visit. Such contributions are one way of expressing appreciation for the experiences and hospitality they enjoyed in other lands.
The goal is to assist travelers who want to say thank you in this manner, or who simply want to expand their generosity beyond their own communities. The supply lists for destinations on their website are provided directly by the local community-based projects that will receive them, enabling travelers to make informed decisions and bring items which meet the needs of the people who will be using them.

I have packed clothing and medical supplies in my luggage on trips to India and Mexico, and never felt better about my travel then when we delivered those supplies to a needy organization and were met with such enthusiasm. Volunteer travel is surging in popularity, but it’s not for everyone. This is a simple act that takes little effort and can have big impact no matter where your next adventure is taking you.
Images via Favin and 79 ideas.