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Adventure Safari Brings Easy Way To Give Back
Eleven years ago, during their first trip to Africa, Scott and Rebecca Rothney learned that while they were each limited to 40 pounds of luggage on safari, their airline had an allowance of 100 pounds of checked luggage, plus a 40-pound carry-on.
To make a long story short, the Georgia couple asked themselves, with an attitude typical of their Southern hospitality, "Why not take advantage of that unused weight and bring along supplies that will fulfill some need?" They noted how it wouldn't cost fliers anything to ship and that they could be doing some good. With this in mind, the two launched Pack For A Purpose.
"In making plans for a second trip, we looked into visiting a school near the lodge we would visit in Botswana," says Rothney. "We contacted our safari company, Wilderness Safaris, to see if we could determine any specific needs of that school. Armed with that information, we were able to deliver 140 pounds (64 kg) of school supplies, including soccer balls, to the school."
Gallery: Pack For A Purpose
To make it even easier, the destinations travelers might visit are organized on the PFAP website by continent, then by country, resort, lodging or tour. Travelers who are considering a land vacation or going on a cruise that stops in Jamaica, for example, will find 18 different properties listed where supplies can be dropped off.
The idea worked. In the first three years of operation, PFAP has been instrumental in delivering over 17,000 pounds of supplies.
Making even more sense of the PFAP plan, Rothney said "We don't look at it as 'charity'. It's a way of saying 'thank you' and showing our appreciation for the wonderful experience we have in these places we visit," in a telephone interview with Gadling.
Think about that for a minute: can you spare five pounds worth of space in luggage?
Pack For A Purpose points out that five pounds translates to:
- 400 Pencils, or
- 5 deflated soccer balls with an inflation device, or
- A stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and 500 bandages.
Check this video with Rebecca Rothney explaining what Pack For A Purpose is all about:
[Images - Pack For A Purpose]