Editor's Note: The Passports with Purpose project was closed by the organizers as of 2017.
Passports with Purpose is an annual fundraiser organized by travel bloggers.
In 2009, the project raised nearly $30,000 to build a school in rural Cambodia.
This year they've upped the stakes, aiming to raise $50,000 to build a village in southern India for some of the country's poorest people (the untouchables, who sadly fall at the very bottom of India's caste system).
Imagine for a moment what it might be for one of those families to have a roof over their head. And the pride and dignity that would come with living in a well-constructed home for the first time.
How to Donate
Sure, donating in and of itself should be personally rewarding, but to make the experience more fun, travel bloggers have volunteered to procure prizes which we can then bid on in $10 increments.
High value prizes include a free round trip domestic airfare voucher on Delta Airlines (USA), a 16GB Apple iPad, a 7-day Norwegian cruise for 2, and a host of hotel and vacation packages.
Simply go to the donation page with the list of prizes, and enter the number of entries for each prize that lights up your eyes. Each entry equates to a $10 donation. At the bottom of the page, you'll see a running counter which lists the number of your entries, and the total donation amount. Once you're satisfied, enter your e-mail address and you can pay online by PayPal or credit card.
Donations are being accepted through the end of December 13, 2010 (PST), and prize winners will be notified December 17, 2010.
Before the public could start making donations (November 15, 2010), a host of sponsors had already committed to the effort, wracking up a combined $30,000 in corporate donations. I was especially happy to see BootsnAll as the Platinum Sponsor this year! Their travel website and community rock, and it's great to see them taking a leadership role.
That leaves it up to the rest of us to make up the difference, another $20,000. I've added a banner on the right side of Go Backpacking which reflects the amount of money raised in real time.
I made my donation last week, will you do the same this week?