Friday, December 18, 2009

Passports With Purpose

Travel and travel writing can be viewed as containing elements of exploitation and indulgence, but a small band of Northwest bloggers have created a project that displays the opposite. Passports with Purpose was founded by bloggers Wanderlust and Lipstick, Delicious Baby, Wander Mom, and Nerd’s Eye View with the goal of making a difference in some of the conditions that travel has opened their eyes to. This year the beneficiary is non-profit organization American Assistance in Cambodia and the project is to build a school for children in a rural village.

These ladies know how to motivate. This incredibly worthy cause is organized into a raffle filled with prizes appealing to their target audience. Any blogger who wants to support the cause donates an item (with a value of $75 or more) and then readers contribute in $10 increments to buy entries into the drawing for the prizes of their choice. The more than sixty items include resort packages in New York, Costa Rico and Belize (among others), video and camera equipment, travel gear, gift certificates, and unique items like a Tahitian pearl or specialty cake.

This year their initial goal was set at $13,000, the minimum required to build a school. When they managed to break that goal in about a week they set their sights higher, adding a vegetable garden, water filter, and school nurse to their goals to ensuring the healthy standards students need to succeed. With just a weekend to go Passports With Purpose is less than 3.5K away from their new revised goal, thanks in part to a mention in the New York Times.

It’s not to late to get involved in this fantastic cause! You can still enter the raffle or simply donate to the cause by clicking here. During these tough times I’m inspired by such stories of generosity, compassion and simply feeling connected to the global community.

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