Two years ago Passports with Purpose raised $7,000 for Heifer International. Last year the travel-blogging community raised $30,000 to build a school in Cambodia. This year we’re aiming to raise $50,000 to build an entire village in India! And you can help (and perhaps even win some cool prizes along the way).
Passports with Purpose is the brainchild of four motivated, passionate, philanthropic bloggers — Pam Mandel, Debbie Dubrow, Beth Whitman and Michelle Duffy — who were officially joined this year by PR gal extraordinaire Meg Paynor, also of Seattle. They’ve been working so hard behind the scenes to make it easy for us travel bloggers to get involved in raising money for such worthy worldwide charities as this year’s recipient: LAFTI, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the Dalit (untouchable) population in India.
Here’s how it works: We’ve procured three awesome prizes donated by our friends in the travel industry. These prizes are listed on the Passports with Purpose donate page. Donate $10 and you’re given a raffle ticket (of sorts) to apply to any prize listed — it certainly doesn’t have to be ours! There are some amazing items that you might win, and your donation is tax-deductible.
Tom Bihn, with whom we’ve partnered for some time now, is donating a Western Flyer carry-on bag. SoCalGal Jennifer Miner raves about this versatile bag that she’s traveled with to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska and North Carolina (among other places) in the past couple years. Like all Tom Bihn bags, it’s soft-sided (made from rugged denier Ballistic nylon to be specific), functional and stylish. The bag quickly converts from a backpack to hand-carry bag, and features a zip-open back pocket if you’d like to slip it over the handle of a rollerboard. It hold a surprising amount of stuff with multiple compartments and pockets to keep you organized. The Western Flyer retails for $200; winner will choose from any available color, and must have a U.S. or Canada mailing address.
Briggs & Riley is donating this awesome carry-on bag from its new BRX Collection for adventure travelers: the Explore 22 Upright. I wrote extensively about its sister product, the Explore 25 Upright, over on PracticalTravelGear.com. I really love Briggs & Riley products for their quality construction and thoughtful features — this company really “gets” what travelers need. For example, in the Explore 22 Upright, there’s a “wet/dry” pouch in the interior lid; this zippered pocket is great for stashing that not-quite-dry bathing suit as you need to board your plane home. I also dig the easy-access front zippered pockets and the super-spacious interior. Like all Briggs & Riley luggage, this piece has a lifetime warranty that even covers airline damage. Very cool. The Explore 22 Upright retails for $290. The winner can choose from any available color; U.S. & Canada mailing addresses only.
Finally, we’re thrilled that the San Juan Marriott Resort has generously donated three nights’ accommodations at its oceanfront resort on Puerto Rico, plus access to the penthouse Executive Lounge for continental breakfast, and dinner for two at Tuscany, the Italian restaurant! It’s especially fun to partner with the San Juan Marriott for this fundraising project, as the other Gals and I have all stayed at the property together! We very much enjoyed the spacious accommodations (amazing beds and plush linens), our meals at La Vista and Tuscany, pampering treatments at the on-site spa and simply relaxing under palm trees by the hotel pool. In fact, we think the San Juan Marriott would make a great destination not only for a girlfriends’ getaway or a romantic trip, but also a family vacation. The pool area features a great water slide, as well as a separate zero-entry toddler pool for youngest guests. The value of this prize is approximately $1,130 and does not include airfare. Up to four people (that is, two adults and two children) can stay in the room, and the three nights’ accommodation must be used by December 13, 2011 and is subject to some blackout dates around peak holidays.
We hope you’ll scoot right over to the Passports with Purpose raffle site and have fun perusing all of the prizes — then enter to win for just $10 a chance. Thanks for supporting this collaborative endeavor to make the world a better place through travel.