It’s the night before your flight, and you’re deciding what you can ditch so your suitcase isn’t overweight. There are some items that you could never leave behind; maybe it’s your sunglasses, or fancy hair products. For Rebecca Rothney, it’s pencils.
Rothney was in Kenya and visited a health clinic that did not have a stethoscope, so she packed two in her carry-on luggage. The stethoscope weighed less than two and a half pounds, and yet “it can touch 10,000 hearts.” The trip sparked an idea. After her vacation, Rothney started the non-profit Pack for a Purpose as a way to spread her simple, genius idea: Dedicate a small space in your luggage to much-needed items to donate to the community. Pack for a Purpose makes it easy. Just visit their website, select your destination, and choose from a list of specific supplies (crayons, notebooks, medical supplies). “The needs come directly from the community,” said Rothney, on a recent call with Outpostings. Once you arrive at your destination, drop off the supplies at participating accommodations.
GoldenEye Hotel & Resort is proud to be a partner with Pack for a Purpose. We welcome all supplies from our specific needs list for the project we support, the Orcabessa Foundation, and are committed to distributing them in the local area. Recently, we received a large donation that will impact the community in a big way. Pack for a Purpose teamed up with Sixthman, a traveling music festival at sea, to raise awareness of the communities in the ports. This year, the Sixthman festival stopped in Ocho Rios, and donated supplies to the Oracabessa Foundation. “Fans onboard donated the supplies,” says Rothney. “Each deck was assigned a suggested item to donate.”
The results were heavy—literally. Guests onboard the Sixthman cruise gifted more than 500 pounds of supplies, including books, crayons and learning materials, which will be distributed to 20 different schools in Ocho Rios. Many other destinations have reaped the benefits of this program. Since its inception, Pack for a Purpose travelers have brought more than 117,000 pounds of much-needed supplies to communities across 60 countries.
“Every traveler to Jamaica has the opportunity to make their trip more meaningful by choosing to pack for a purpose,” Rothney says. She believes that these donations are “the perfect way to let the community know that as a traveler, you are forever grateful for the hospitality.”