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Packing For A Purpose

Being greenminded is not just about preserving your own personal health, your home and the environment around you. Rather, it is also about helping people in meaningful, relevant ways, no matter where in the world they are. Pack for A Purpose is an amazing initiative that has taken the consideration of the needs of those with less than us to a new level.

This organisation was started by Scott and Rebecca Rothney. This couple discovered, when travelling to Africa for the first time, that the maximum weight for their luggage was far below the capacity of the actual craft. This meant that there was plenty of room available to take supplies to the children and underprivileged communities to which they were going. The next time they visited Africa, they arranged to take supplies for the school children of Botswana, and managed to transport 64 kilograms of much-needed amenities. Not only was this hugely appreciated, but Scott and Rebecca were left feeling well-rewarded for their efforts. They also felt that this expressed their appreciation for the hospitality shown to them at their various destinations; a kind of ‘thank you’. Thus began the Pack for A Purpose project.

In order to participate, travellers simply need to visit the website ( and find their destination. Then, they will be directed to a list of organisations at that destination that require assistance. Their identity, efforts and needs are explained very clearly, with a list of suggested items for inclusion in your luggage. These items are usually school supplies, clothing and hygiene products, which are not always easily available in rural areas, but that are easily accessible to most of us. Popular items include:

  • Band aids
  • Bandages
  • Antibiotic creams
  • Stationery
  • Blankets
  • Skipping ropes
  • Disposable nappies or diapers
  • Solar-powered calculators
  • Games that encourage participation (such as Scrabble), but no electronic gaming devices

Once travellers have arrived at their destination, they need only to deliver the donated goods to the desk of the accommodation provider listed on the website. The items will then be delivered to the organisation required and distributed to those in need. Please note that, before attempting to participate, travellers are advised to confirm the specific luggage limitations with their airline and travel agent to avoid complications and disappointments. There are packaging requirements for various items, which can be reviewed on the Pack for A Purpose website.

By packing just 2.27 kilograms (or 5 pounds) of extra luggage, you would be able to provide an organisation with 400 pencils OR 5 deflated soccer balls OR a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and 500 band aids!

After years of raising awareness, Pack for A Purpose now qualifies as a charitable organisation under code section 501(c)(3). All contributions to Pack for A Purpose are fully deductible. For more information, email [email protected]

Photo Credit: Cherry Flava

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This article was posted by - South Africa Eco-Friendly Guide.

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