Passports with Purpose – What We’re Doing in 2012

by Beth Whitman (June 19th, 2012)

PwP FoundersIt literally started as an idea around a coffee table. Four travel bloggers, regularly getting together over coffee and treats to chat about travel, blogging and whatever was new in our lives.

What it grew into is Passports with Purpose – the annual travel bloggers fundraiser. The idea was to do some good in the world by rallying the travel blogging community – people who have experienced developing countries first-hand and know how small amounts of money can change many lives.

In May, 3 of the 4 co-founders were privileged enough to go to Zambia (courtesy of Expedia) to visit one of the libraries that we funded during last year’s fundraiser. This is what happened:

Now in our 5th year, we’ve filed our paperwork for non-profit status, we’ve built a school in Cambodia, 25 homes in South India, 2 libraries in Zambia and our goal this year is to build 5 water wells in Haiti through Water.org. We are SO excited to be partnering with this well-established organization in order to bring clean water to communities in this small country.

We have hundreds of travel bloggers supporting our cause. We have PR people and destination representatives providing prizes. And we have sponsors who have committed generous donations to help us kick off this year’s fundraiser (which will begin in late November).

A big THANK YOU to Expedia for getting behind us this year. Not only did they send us to Zambia, but they produced the video above AND they’ve jumped on board as this year’s Platinum Sponsor.

TBEX (the travel bloggers annual conference) is a Silver Sponsor. With HomeAway and TravellersPoint as Bronze Sponsors.

There are definitely times when I think Passports with Purpose is the bomb – the best idea ever. Collectively created by Debbie from DeliciousBaby, Pam from NerdsEyeView and Michelle from WanderMom and myself, it “goes” because we have the support of the travel community (blogger and otherwise).

But much of the time, I’m not so sure that others beyond our fabulous board (which now includes Meg Paynor on PR) share my enthusiasm for PwP. I just haven’t had a sense of how this is viewed from the outside because I’m so emotionally invested with all the details.

This year feels different. We showed our video to an audience of hundreds of travel bloggers this past weekend at TBEX. With such early support from our sponsors, and with Expedia’s generosity in sending us to Zambia to film this rather emotional event, I’m now feeling the love from everyone. (Kinda felt like a rock star this weekend if you must know.)

And now I think, “WOW, how did this happen?”

Big things are going to be in the works for PwP in the coming year. I’m thrilled and honored to be part of it. And knowing that we’re making people cry each time they watch that video brings an odd sense of satisfaction to me :-)

I hope you’ll join us in the fall for our fundraiser to benefit Water.org. In the meantime lots of details can be found on the PwP website.

Travel Well,

Beth

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