The four fabulous founding female travel bloggers behind Passports With Purpose  are
once again calling on the amazingly supportive travel blogging community to help raise funds for a worthy cause.
These wonderful women  – Beth Whitman (Wanderlust And Lipstick ), Debbie Dubrow (Delicious Baby ), Michelle Duffy (WanderMom ), and Pam Mandel (Nerd’s Eye View ), gathered last year over coffee and decided to do something community minded. With an initial goal of $5000 in mind, they were stunned by the outpouring of support and generosity from the many travel bloggers who came through with prizes (to be given away in a drawing) and donations, and managed to exceed their goal, raising $7400, all of which went to Heifer International .
This year they’ve set their sights a little higher, with a goal of $13,000, and chosen another amazing charity to support, American Assistance for Cambodia (AAfC) , an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving opportunities for the youth and rural poor in Cambodia. Passports With Purpose’s goal for this year is to build a school in rural Cambodia this year through AAfC’s rural schools project.
Why a school?
Debbie’s and Pam’s explanations are from their hearts, so I’ll let them tell you in their own words:
From Debbie: One of the things I was struck by on my own visit to Cambodia was the strong spirit of hope, and the desire to rebuild both at a personal level and a national level, the intellectual society and successful economy that had been destroyed by the Khmer Rouge in the late ’70s. English language and computer schools seemed to be down every alleyway in Phnom Penh. Parents scrimped to sign young children up for lessons in English and computers and to learn the cultural arts that were all but lost during the Khmer Rouge Regime. In rural areas, the sense of hope and the desire to rebuild might be just as strong, but the options are more limited. This year Passports with Purpose will establish a school in a rural area whose children have been deprived from any educational facilities. A school provides a much needed alternative to poverty or sex trafficking.
From Pam: As we wrapped up last year’s Passports with Purpose — we raised 7400 for Heifer International! – I stumbled across an article about a program that builds schools in Cambodia. There was no doubt in my mind — that was what we were going to do for 2009. Debbie, Beth, and Michelle were as keen as I was to make this happen. We knew that with the help of our blogging community, we could do this, we could build a school and we could make a small difference in the lives of a handful of kids in Cambodia.
How you can help
And yes, you CAN help! First, if you plan to participate in any of the following ways, be sure to let Passports With Purpose know by completing this form .
- Become a Sponsor at either a Gold ($2500) or Silver ($500) level – this comes with some terrific Sponsor Benefits including a significant amount of online visibility and social media attention to your own site (read the full list of sponsor benefits here );
- Purchase or procure a prize for the fund-raising raffle (be sure the read the Prize Guidelines  for some important tips on prize donation);
- Enter the drawing for prizes – although a donation is not required to enter, a suggestion donation of $10 per entry to AAfC is recommended. Dig deep. It’s a good cause! You can find out how to enter here on this page for the Passports with Purpose Drawing Rules ;
- Spread the word through your own travel blog – write a blog post, host a banner ad for them, send out information in your newsletter. Tweet about it. Post it on your Facebook page. Tell all your friends, and tell them to donate, participate, and spread the word!
More from the Passports With Purpose Founders:
Like last year, we hope that this effort will not only raise money for a very worthy charity, but also help develop a stronger sense of community among travel bloggers, and demonstrate the effect we can have when we work together.
If you’d like to participate, jump right in! Some key dates are fast approaching, so if you want to donate a prize, please do so soon.
- PwP drawing begins: Nov 30
- PwP closes: Dec 21
- Prize winners announced: Jan 5
You can learn more about AAfC and their rural schools project at http://www.cambodiaschools.com/ , or read a personal story from someone who has done this here: We start a school in Cambodia: by Nicholas Kristof .
Travel Bloggers I hope you’ll join me in stepping up to the plate, and helping Passports With Purpose achieve their goal!
Are you participating? Comment here so I can link to you as well!