Passports With Purpose Cambodia School

Passports With Purpose 2009 Breaks My Silence

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Passports with Purpose

Between moving out of Sarasota and traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, I have been somewhat silent for the past two weeks. But things are settling down now and I can’t think of a better reason to get back into the swing than to tell you about a wonderful charity effort being mounted by my fellow travel writers through Passports With Purpose.

This year, the Passports with Purpose fund raising effort is supporting American Assistance for Cambodia (AAfC), an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving opportunities for the youth and rural poor in Cambodia, with a goal of raising $13,000 to build a school. In order to achieve this goal, travel bloggers have either personally donated prizes or arranged for companies to donate prizes. These items are then raffled off online, with each $10 donation entering the donor into a drawing for the prize of his or her choice.


Smiling children like this little girl hawk merchandise on the streets all day rather than attending school

I know first hand how much this is needed in Cambodia. When I visited the country in 2007, I was particularly struck by droves of children who roamed the streets, carrying baskets heaped with hand-made jewelry or toting hand-woven mats twice their size. Without exception, they interspersed pesky sales pitches and arm tugs with the few words of English they knew:

“Hello, where you from?”


“Oh, U.S.A., A-Number one. President George Bush; capitol Washington, D.C.”

These children, some of them barely old enough to be left alone, much less on the streets all day selling merchandise, seemed desperate to learn. I can think of no better way to celebrate the holidays than to help build a school for these lovely children.

If you wish to join me in supporting this worthy cause, check out the list of prizes being offered at Passports With Purpose. Select the drawings you’d like to enter and indicate how many $10 donations you want to make for each prize. For example, I entered “3” in the box to the right of the $100 gift card donated by Shannon Hurst-Lane and “2” for the Flip Ultra Video Camcorder (value $135) donated by Heather Cowper, both fellow travel bloggers and friends. My five entries, totaling $50, were charged to my credit card via PayPal. Simple as that!

The selection of prizes to bid on is nothing short of amazing. How about a $1,500 two-night stay in a suite at NYC’s Roosevelt Hotel or five nights at Los Suenos Resort in Costa Rica (value $2,746)? Other prizes include books, shoes, backpacks, strollers, sunglasses, and even a Ukulele! Any of these could be yours for a $10 donation. The fundraiser closes on December 21 and all proceeds go directly to AAfC, so check it out soon.

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12 Comments on “Passports With Purpose 2009 Breaks My Silence

  1. Fund Raising is always needed to support existing and future projects..-*

  2. Fund Raising is always needed to support existing and future projects..-*

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  4. Passport with a Purpose is a good program and the mission is very impressive. Congratulations and we are looking forward for hitting the objective of the cause. Good luck.

  5. Thanks for the lovely writeup and for the very special comments.

    We are so excited that after 4 days we are super close to our goal of $13,000. Stay tuned for what else we plan to do in Cambodia when we blow past that goal. With your help we can do it!

  6. Passports with a Purpose is one of the most impressive travel bloggers efforts around. I am overwhelmed by the quality of prizes on offer this year from flip cameras to nights in fancy hotels. Fantastic initiative.

  7. Barbara, you picked a worthy way to break your silence. Glad to see you blogging again. Ye, Passports With Purpose is a wonderful cause. My Itchy Travel Feet has teamed up with Kuru Footwear to donate a pair of cool hiking shoes.

  8. Thank you for telling me about this site. I have sent it to others. Take care and be well. Karen

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