Passports With Purpose 2010: Let’s Build a Village in India

Buy a ticket. Win a prize. Help build a village in India.

Here’s the story.

Madurai, India: Girl and Pitcher
Girl at Well in Madurai – Tamil Nadu, India

Last year, Passports with Purpose (PwP) raised almost $30,000 to build a school in Cambodia, complete with a nurse and a garden. This year, the goal is to raise $50,000 to build 25 houses in a village in Tamil Nadu (Southern India). Proceeds will go to Land for Tillers’ Freedom (LAFTI) through their US-based NGO. What we like about LATFI’s approach is that communities participate in the building and development process so that those benefiting are vested and have a sense of ownership.

Travelers really have hearts?

We know, we know. It’s easy to think of travelers spending their lives sprawled out on beaches, cocktails-in-hand, focused on “me, me, me” and the next massage. But for some, there’s another side to travel.

Something happens when you visit a place. You meet the people, you share their food, you have an emotional experience. Next time you watch a news program about the area, it’s no longer a series of detached images and faces streaming across the screen, but a reminder of conversations you had, children you played with, and people you shared a meal with. The entire cycle is personal and it often makes you want to act, to give back, to do something to help.

The Eyes: Trichy, India
Mother & Child in Tamil Nadu, India

People often don’t know how to make that first step in giving back. But four travel bloggers in Seattle — Pam Mandel, Debbie Dubrow, Michelle Duffy, Beth Whitman — decided three years ago that it was time to act — and Passports with Purpose was born. They enlisted other travel bloggers to use their energy and social media savvy as a way to give back and make a real difference in communities halfway around the world.

This year’s challenge: to raise $50,000 to build a village (25 houses) in Tamil Nadu, India.

OK, OK. I’m sold. How do I get involved?

Go to the Passports with Purpose donate page, check out the prizes on offer. Every prize has a minimum $75 value. There’s some really cool stuff, from a vacation package for Waikiki to a Norwegian cruise to a $250 gift certificate for Sky Mall (be honest, you know you’ve always wanted some of the whacky stuff you see there).

Decide which prize you’d like and buy a $10 ticket for a chance to win it. If you’d like to increase your odds of winning, buy several tickets. Ten dollars goes a long way halfway around the world and maybe you’ll win a prize. Everyone benefits.

Our Hosted Prize

CSN Stores has kindly donated a $100 gift certificate to use at any of their online retailers. The breadth of products on offer through CSN Stores is mind boggling — from a suitcase to kitchen supplies to baby gear to hiking shoes to everything in between. The only catch is that you have to use the gift certificate at one time (i.e., you can’t split it up into different shopping sessions). Simple enough.

We sincerely thank CSN Stores for working with us and Passports with Purpose 2010.

Madurai, India:  A Stitch
Sharing a moment, mother and daughter.

So this holiday season, spread the word to others who would enjoy contributing. We look forward to helping Passports with Purpose meet their goal. We hope you will too!

Enjoy this?

Then sign up for more travel wisdom & inspiration from 8+ years of traveling the world.


  1. says

    @Vera: Passports with Purpose has come up with a pretty great system. And, the good feeling from donating just because you support the cause (there’s that option as well) is definitely worth it!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *