“I believe every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.” – Thomas Jefferson
Just before traveling, I experienced the greatest reward of being a teacher and a coach by watching students take ownership of an idea to help someone they had never met in a country they had never visited.
We collected donations of school supplies for children in Nepal, with the tremendous help of Angel’s Delta Air Lines colleagues in Madrid (note: not a company sponsored event; colleagues were just happy and eager to help) and of my students.
Angel and I traveled to Everest Base Camp in February and March of 2018. We did not travel with a group, nor with a guide, nor a porter. But we wanted to connect with the locals beyond our evening huddles around the dining room stove. Pack for a Purpose, a 501(c)(3) based in North Carolina, offered the perfect opportunity.
It is easy to think that kids elsewhere need what we have. But maybe they don’t. Maybe we are confusing our own wants and needs. Or maybe someone else already delivered it.
Pack for a Purpose describes itself: “We provide travelers with info about needed supplies for community projects supported by accommodations and tour companies worldwide.”
The key here is needed supplies. As independent travelers, not already affiliated with any tourist agency, we had four organizations with whom we could participate in Nepal, two of them in Kathmandu. Each had a slightly different list of supplies, to support their needs. We collected: colored pencils, erasers, handheld pencil sharpeners, markers, pencils, pens, protractors, and rulers. Be sure to check the website for the most current requests.
Since we were backpacking and not checking any luggage, we filled two drawstring bags with the donations and carried them onboard as our personal items. Just before departure, we contacted Trekking Team Group and arranged a time to deliver the donations. We found the address on the map and went to the office in Thamel.
Shreehari, the CEO of company, in customary Nepalese hospitality, sat with us and explained the labors and rewards of their corporate social responsibility, as well as the bigger picture of political and socioeconomic conditions in Nepal.
In addition to collecting supplies for a village school of 350 children, Trekking Team Group has partnered with a German company, Nepalhilfe im kleinen Rahmen, to provide more infrastructure and programs for the school. Together, they:
A few weeks after our return home, I received an email from Shreehari. He had traveled with a large group to deliver our donations and many more to the children. The children created hand-written thank you notes to show their gratitude.
You, too, can Pack for a Purpose on your next trip. Here’s how:
A million thanks to everyone who contributed, especially Sonía, Sara, and Angel’s Delta Air Lines colleagues in Madrid.
We are made for relationships.
Mentioned in this article:
Pack for a Purpose
Trekking Team Group
Christine & Angel
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Make your travels meaningful with Pack for a Purpose. Simply use a small amount of space in your luggage to pack supplies needed by community projects around the world. Click the photo below to find a project in your destination.