6.08.2012

Pack for a Purpose

When my family was preparing for our Caribbean vacation I found out that our Beaches resort offered several "extras" for which we could sign up. Scuba diving and snorkeling were not top on my list, but the Sandals Foundation Reading Road Trip really peaked my interest. I signed up to take this trip to a local school on the island and read to students, fostering reading comprehension skills. What more could an aspiring teacher ask for in a vacation!?

I immediately began researching schools on the islands. I looked for photos and reviews from people who had participated in past excursions. Somewhere in all my googling I came across an amazing organization called Pack for a Purpose. This non-profit helps vacationers help people in the communities where they are visiting.

Before departing for a trip, you can go to the Pack for a Purpose website, enter your destination, and search for opportunities to donate much needed medical, school, and craft supplies, clothes or even sporting goods. The website even offers tips on how to best pack your goods to make the most of your space. How cool is that?

Since we were able to check three pieces of luggage, I decided to dedicate an entire bag to our purpose-- bringing books to the school that I would be visiting in Turks and Caicos. I was a little late in my discovery of this mission, so I wasted no time finding books to fill that suitcase. We scoured the shelves of the Goodwill Bookstore to find "like new" books. We emptied the gift closet of my stockpile of re-gift books and going-out-of-business finds. I ordered several classroom library sets from Scholastic Book Clubs. When we ended up with 93 books, Janie Kathryn rounded it up to an even 100 by donating a few of her own books. The bag was heavy!

Much to my disappointment, my Reading Road Trip ended up getting canceled. Apparently,when were on vacation the students were in the middle of achievement testing.
I get that. I still feel good about our donation and my discovery of this great organization. I can't wait to pack for a purpose again. And friends, please explore their website and consider packing for a purpose the next time you travel.

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