Pack-for-a-Purpose Program makes it easy for visitors to give back to Curacao Community
Giving back while on holiday has never been easier thanks to the Pack for a Purpose program. This community outreach initiative is based on a very simple principle: leave a little room in your suitcase for everyday items we often take for granted, and they will do the rest.
The foundation has already done all the groundwork for you. They have identified the needs, reached out to the destination partners like resorts and hotels, and listed every item that each individual community and program needs the most. All you have to do is bring something with you and deliver it to the staff where you are staying. It’s that easy.
And you might be surprised at how such a little thing can make such a big impact. Everything from school supplies, to musical instruments, to sports equipment (it’s easy to pack a deflated soccer ball,) is always in demand. Founder of Pack for a Purpose Rebecca Rothney says, “If 500 individuals each pack 5 lbs. (2.27 kg) we can provide 1.25 tons of supplies to community-based projects around the world!”
Today, what began as a labor of love and a personal mission of Rebecca and her husband Scott to give back while they traveled the world, has blossomed into a global movement encompassing over 66 countries and benefiting thousands of communities. And Curacao became the 56th country to benefit from Pack-for-a-Purpose when Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort signed up as an eager participant in 2014.
The PFAP founders visited Curacao last year to witness their program in action. Santa Barbara's Ilona Faas de Bruijne-Executive Assistant to the General Manager identified the groups that would best benefit from the donations- the needs vary, but most of the recipients on this island are currently youth and student groups. Rebecca recalls, “It was thrilling to experience the depth of commitment of the Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort to the children of Curacao and to see first-hand the interaction between the management and the community projects.” During their visit they also personally delivered almost 100 pounds worth of soccer balls and uniforms donated by Soccer.com to a Curacao Children’s Soccer Clubs. Santa Barbara also donates to Siloam, a children's hospice, and Fundashon Amigunan di Cristo, a non-profit after school program.
Now the Ritz Studios and Ritz Hostel are also PFAP members. They have identified five children’s homes/orphanages in need of basic supplies and encourage their guests to check the list and pack items for them as well.
So how can you help?
If you are visiting Curacao, check the website to see what items are needed. You can also contact your host hotel member to see when deliveries are scheduled in case you want to tag along and meet the recipients to see how packing along such little things can make such a big difference in the lives of others.
Alternatively, if you are a resident, and are planning a trip, you can check their website to see if your destination is part of the program, and if so, find out what is needed and where to drop it off. There’s nothing better than the feeling of knowing you are helping to create a better global community when you go on holiday.
For all destinations and information see pack for a purpose website: www.packforapurpose.org
For Curacao participation and back stories see: http://www.packforapurpose.org/search/node/curacao
By Susan Campbell
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Photo credit: Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort