December 4, 2009

Don’t Consume, Give! Help Build a School in Cambodia With Passports With Purpose

Ah the holiday season… with the mere mention of it I’ve probably invoked visions of over consumption and crazed Christmas shoppers more concerned with quantity than quality. But even the jaded know that the holiday season is in fact a great time to give back, and the internet has become the new headquarters for pushing this kind of positive change.

About this time last year, a group of very savvy travel bloggers cam together and decided to harness the power of new media, bringing together a network of travel bloggers to help fundraise for Heifer International in a campaign called Passports With Purpose. The campaign was so successful, that this year they’re at it again, with even more travel blogs taking part. The 2009 PWP campaign will raise funds for American Assistance for Cambodia, and if they reach their goal of $13,000 a school will be built in Cambodia.

Focusing on the travel community allows PWP to reach out to those that have experienced other places and, because of it, want to give back.

“As travelers, we’re witnesses to what’s happening in the world and as bloggers, we feel compelled to share that through our online storytelling. That’s the baseline, we want to share stories about places we’ve been. And if we’ve been somewhere that affects us deeply, how can we not want to give to create a better world?” says PWP co-founder Pam Mandel.

Social media is also an integral part of this initiative, using popular tools like Twitter and Facebook to push the cause. The PWP co-founders hope that they can use their experience to inspire others to put together similar campaigns.

“Of course we hope that PwP will spur on other communities in new and social media to create their own initiatives to help those in need. And as technology changes, and as we learn and refine our efforts each year, we will continue to evolve and share what we’ve learned,” says PWP co-founder Beth Whitman.

How to partake:

Travelers and general do-gooders around the blogosphere have donated prizes to the PWP cause, ranging from travel gear to luxury hotel accommodations to video cameras. For each $10 donation that you make to AAfC, you will will be entered in the giveaway(s) of your choice. The fundraiser closes on December 21 and all proceeds go directly to AAfC. Check out all of the prizes up for grabs here.

Now get over your “the holidays have come to be defined by consumerism” mood and donate to a great cause.

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