Why participate in Passports with Purpose?

Posted on | November 5, 2012 | No Comments

Washing with clean, safe water in HaitiOne of the things that makes our fundraiser special is the participation by a huge number of travel bloggers from all walks of the travel spectrum – from backpackers to eco-travelers to family travelers to foodies, our bloggers are diverse, interesting, and committed to making the world a better place.

This year we thought we’d ask both some travel bloggers who are new to the fundraiser as well as some experienced PWPers to share why they signed up to support Passports With Purpose. Not surprisingly, the answers they gave are as diverse as they are. But don’t let us tell you that – please read for yourself.

Here’s what some of our first-time bloggers have to say about helping us raise money for Water.org to build wells in Haiti:

Bret Love, Green Global Travel

We’re big on charity work. In addition to our private donations, we’ve used GGT to promote non-profits such as Heifer International, WWF, Defenders of Wildlife, and more. We even started a Facebook group called Travel Bloggers Give Back to encourage more bloggers to use their platforms to promote charitable causes.

But this is the first year we’ve joined Passports With Purpose, and the reason we’re doing it is simple. Water.org is a great charity dedicated to solving one of the world’s most important problems: The global water crisis. People are literally dying in developing nations because they can’t get fresh water. Children are infected with terrible diseases because the water they do have access to isn’t sanitary. Every human being needs clean water to survive and, in raising money for this important cause, PWP is showing that bloggers can use our voices to make the world a better place.

Mike and Luci, 1000 Places to Fight Before You Die

Water: it’s so overrated….said no one ever!  We are excited to participate in our first Passports with a Purpose. The synergy created by this project within the traveling blogging family is inspiring.  Finally something we can agree on.

Dave Parfitt, Adventures by Daddy

As an academic, traveler, and travel blogger, I’ve had the privilege to live and travel in numerous cities around the world, and one quickly sees the importance of clean, safe water to our health. Although my travel blog is new, as soon as I heard Passports With Purpose was raising money for Water.org, I knew I had to participate.  I consider giving back an essential component for membership in not only the travel blogging community, but also the global community.

Megy Karydes, WanderingTastes

I’ve seen first-hand the amazing things that can happen in developing countries when interested individuals learn how they can become involved. As a writer, I realize the impact I can have by helping to amplify a message to a larger audience than just more close circle of friends. Participating with Passports with Purpose allows me to meld two of my interests, travel and writing, in a way that will have a longer-lasting impact once that last word is read.

Bille Frank, Santa Fe Travelers

I’m taking part in Passports With a Purpose for the first time this year. I really believe in what they are doing and am excited to support bloggers taking a stand.

Karon Warron, All Things Lifestyle

I am a first-time participant, and I wanted to be a part of PwP because of the incredible changes this initiative is making throughout the world. Plus, it proves that everyone can make a difference. PwP was created by four travel bloggers who saw the potential in leveraging their outlets and their professional and personal networks. If we are all committed to making change for the better, we can succeed!

Nicole Wiltrout, Arrows Sent Forth

I’m donating a prize for the first time this year because I’ve just been so inspired by this campaign over the past three years. One of the best aspects of travel is having your eyes opened to the world around you and its many needs. I love that the travel blogging community comes together each year to use our platforms to meet a pressing need in the world.

Kids at a new well in HaitiWe’re thrilled to have all of these bloggers joining us for the first time. But let’s not forget our repeat bloggers – some of whom have participated every year since we started in 2008. A sampling of them offered the following insights:

Vera Marie Badertscher, A Traveler’s Library

When I started blogging, four years ago, I was too late to support the first PwP effort. I was so impressed with what four bloggers leading the community of travel bloggers could do and I looked forward to fully supporting PwP. Now it is a key project every year at A Traveler’s Library.

I enjoy helping the worthy projects selected. My readers look forward to bidding on terrific prizes. My sponsors look forward to their participation. Win! Win! Win!

Jodi Ettenberg, Legal Nomads

This is my third year participating in Passports with Purpose, and I’m thrilled with the choice of Haiti as the recipient for the donations, especially given the fresh devastation following Hurricane Sandy. An individual charitable endeavour is always worthwhile, but what excites me about PwP is the large-scale participation from across the travel blogging world, from longform to shorter pieces to photographers and more. The fundraiser grows yearly and we are thus able to set bigger and bigger goals, from schools to entire villages and now this year’s $100,000 benchmark for clean water in Haiti. This means that we can keep building on the success of the prior year’s work, both from a social amplification perspective (the more tweets and posts, the more people who might donate) and from the participants themselves, who grow in number.

On a personal level, I participate because I can – a great advantage of having a platform with an enthused community of readers is being able to harness that enthusiasm for a worthy cause. I’m excited to see the results of this year’s campaign, and look forward to participating in the future.

Sheila Scarborough, Sheila’s Guide and Perceptive Travel

I love participating in PwP both as a host blogger and to bid on prizes myself, because I can see exactly where my money goes. PwP projects are clear, concrete and tangible, and even better, the PwP crew goes to see them when they’re done and reports back, giving me a real sense of connection and satisfaction.

As a host blogger, I like giving my favorite hotels or destinations a chance to shine in front of the travel blogging community. Last year I hosted a prize donated by the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, located in the Bastrop, Texas area near Austin, which had suffered through horrendous wildfires. Blogging about Lost Pines and Bastrop was my contribution to perhaps helping to return tourism dollars to the area.

I try to host prizes on both my personal blog Sheila’s Guide, and representing the blogging team from the Perceptive Travel webzine and blog. It’s an honor to participate in PwP and I thank the organizers for everything they’ve done to grow the event.

Sandra Foyt, Albany Kid

I have participated in Passports with Purpose on some level every year since it started. This year, I’m  hoping to step it up with a giveaway. Making the world a better place is not just a pretty phrase; it’s something that I believe in, and that I want my children to believe in. That means modeling the behavior that I would like them to emulate. Passports with Purpose makes  it easy to make a difference – either through donating or sponsoring a giveaway. And the results are remarkable: a school, libraries, clean water. Just as important, Passport with Purpose offers a concrete example that each and every one of us has the power to change the world. That’s a lesson worth sharing with my children, again and again.

Amie O’Shaughnessy, Ciao Bambino

Ciao Bambino participates in Passports with Purpose every year as this highly successful fundraiser is a tremendous opportunity for the blogging community to join forces and support families in need. As avid travelers, travel bloggers receive the gift of seeing first-hand how people live around the world and this is our chance to give back and use our influence to change lives. Ciao Bambino is very proud to be part of Passports with Purpose!

Jennifer Miner, Kara Williams, and Beth Blair – also known as The Vacation Gals

For The Vacation Gals, participating in Passports with Purpose is a no-brainer. We’ve hosted a raffle prize for this brilliant fundraiser ever since we started blogging together in 2009. It’s an easy way for us to help support worthy charities that do such good work around the world. We know that relatively speaking, our lives in the first-world United States can’t even compare remotely to the way others live in developing countries. We are so pleased to touch some of those people and perhaps make their world just a little brighter in a small way. We’d assume that most travel bloggers love the world and the people in it; knowing that we can help people that we’ll never meet just feels like the right thing to do. It helps make the world we love a better place for all of us.

Jessie Voigts, Wandering Educators

We’ve participated in PWP every year since it started. Why do we do so? Because we firmly believe in the power of a dedicated community to make real change in the world – and PWP does just that.

Barbara Waibel, Hole In The Donut Cultural Travel

I often feel that I don’t help others enough but I struggle with who to help and how. Do I want to donate to huge international organizations that spend too large a percentage of their donations on administrative costs? Can I vet each organization to determine if it is a deserving charity or a thinly disguised, corrupt ploy to generate income that ends up lining the pockets of the NGO operator? The answer, in both cases, is no. That’s why I was thrilled when PwP was born. I know they work hard to research the organizations they select and I have the utmost confidence that the money raised will actually benefit those for which it is intended. Plus, I love the idea of us banding together as travel writers/bloggers to give back in a big way once a year.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Thanks to all of our wonderful bloggers. We truly couldn’t do it without you.

Photos courtesy of Water.org

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