Pack for a Purpose on your next trip

Sep 13, 2013

Pack for a Purpose is a relatively new charity set up by a couple who realized during their first trip in Africa that they could have maximized their weight allowance and packed in their suitcases so many useful items for the local communities.

By partnering with hotels around the world who are involved in local community work (from the Ritz Carlton in Istanbul to ecolodges in Laos),  Pack for a Purpose allows travellers to find out what the local charities in their destination might need. There is a useful map for each country in the program indicating the various partners who ready to collect donated items.

Pack for a Purpose to the Maldives   Founder of Pack for a Purpose

To put things in perspective, for only 5pounds (2.27kilos), you can bring 400 pencils, or 5 deflated soccer balls, or a stethoscope+a blood pressure cuff + 500 band aids. As families, we very likely have “unused weight allowance” in our suitcases (unless travelling with dreadful Ryanair..) because children rarely need to pack much – yet they still pay full price plane tickets.

Pack for a Purpose to Mexico   PAck for a Purpose to Laos

The idea is simple yet very smart:

1. Select your destination.
2. Find a lodging and a project it supports.
3. Choose the supplies you wish to bring from the specific items requested. 
4. Drop off the supplies at the lodging.
5. The supplies will then be delivered to the community-based project.

Add Pack for a Purpose on your to do list for your next trip and help spread the word by asking the hotels that you are visiting to take part in the program.

7 Comments

  1. Fives OnTheFly

    Thanks for sharing such a great charity! We’ll be driving down the Mexico’s Baja peninsula in December, and we’re thrilled to have found a company through the Pack for a Purpose web site that collects school supplies for local children. We look forward to continue packing with others in mind for our future travels as well.

    Reply
    • BozAround

      It’s great to hear your feedback. It proves the point that the program is quite simple in its functioning, you were able to quickly find the what to bring & where to leave it! I discoverd your blog by the same token, and love the ‘cycling with the wind’ philosophy! Are you home schooling your children? COngrats, it is inspiring and makes me long to go back on the road with my 3. Enjoy it all!

      Reply
      • BozAround

        I am so glad that the post can lead to some good action via this great project. Happy knitting week end! So happy to have discovered your blog thru your visit on BozAround! vanessa

        Reply
      • Fives OnTheFly

        Thanks for the kind words. We do homeschool on the road, and we feel very, very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn and play with our kids every day 🙂

        Reply
  2. matemo

    This is so useful! I am travelling to Africa in a couple of months so I will try to collaborate with this project. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  3. Beth Baxter

    When I went to Africa in 2014 my sister and I each packed a suitcase full of stuff for this. We left one in Capetown the the Cape Cadogan & the second one we carried on to our Safari at Lion Sands. We were privileged to be able to go the PreSchool and deliver it ourselves and it brought tears to my eyes at how grateful they were for the stuff we brought. Baby clothes, school supplies, recorders, calculators, soccer balls, garden seeds. It was amazing how little meant so much to them. I must admit that when I found this program online I did not hesitate to gather up odds and ends that my children used maybe once and it got stored away, to pack it up and take it with me. My pack for a purpose suitcase weighed as much as my suitcase of personal things. Loved it.

    Reply
    • BozAround

      Hi Beth

      I am so glad that you shared your experience here about packing stuffs with a purpose and sharing at the destination. hope it inspires many others!

      Reply

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