Passports with Purpose is an annual Travel Blogger's fundraiser that I am proud to be involved with for the first time this year. Passports with Purpose was founded by four travel bloggers (Debbie Dubrow, Michelle Duffy, Beth Whitman and Pam Mandel) as a means of giving back to the places that we, as travelers, visit. Since forming in 2008, Passports with Purpose has raised money for Heifer International, built a school in Cambodia and built 25 homes in a village in India. This year the goal is to raise $80 000 to build two libraries in Zambia through a partnership with Room to Read. This organization works with communities and local governments in developing countries to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children. The money raised will pay for construction of the libraries, all of the library resources such as books and educational materials, and teacher training.
Books and reading have been a central part of my life since I was a very young child. Growing up in a rural part of Canada, the world that I knew was quite limited. Visiting the library and reading books provided an escape and fuelled my imagination so that I could dream of eventually leaving my small town for university. Books also made me hunger to explore the world and experience the places that I read about it - planting the seeds for the wanderlust that would take over as an adult. I know that if I hadn't been a voracious reader then my life would have turned out far differently.
Because of the impact that reading had on my life, childhood literacy has always been one of the causes that I feel most strongly about. Once I had children, it became even more apparent to me that success as a student (and later in life) relies heavily on reading skills. I'm not sure that I can think of a goal that is more worthwhile than giving a child the life-long gift of literacy, particularly in the developing world where the impact of having an education can make the world of difference in a child's life.
Participating travel bloggers have procured amazing prizes including hotel stays in Jamaica and Hawaii, a $1000 HomeAway gift certificate, a private Florence market tour and lots more. For each $10 donation a donor receives an entry for the prize of his or her choice. All prizes are listed on the Passports with Purpose website. November 30th marks the kick-off for this year's fundraiser and donations for prizes will close on December 16th. (Donations will still be accepted after December 16th, however, you won't be entered into a prize drawing after that date.)
Please visit the Passports with Purpose donation page and consider donating to this worthy cause, knowing that every dollar raised will have a positive impact on the life of a child in Zambia. Your donation will provide a child with the opportunity to hold a book in her hand and dream of where it may take her.