Today’s article is about a new sector of interest of HomeExchange: nonprofit organizations and innovative projects created to improve the quality of life of people in need.


There is a need everywhere in the world and it often seems very difficult to help, but there are many organizations set up to help these people. Sometimes we can be surprised to see that it can be pretty easy to be part of that process. Making contributions to people in need is also one way of expressing appreciation for the experiences and hospitality we enjoy in other lands.

We have just discovered Pack for a Purpose: a really interesting nonprofit organization whose founders had the idea to help schools, orphanages, etc by bringing needed supplies packed in their luggage as they traveled all over the world.

About Pack for a Purpose:

Rebecca Rothney founded Pack for a Purpose in 2009 to bring school supplies to impoverished children around the world.

During a trip to Africa, Rebecca Rothney and her husband Scott realized they still had space in their suitcases. They obtained a local school’s supply “wish list”, packed up the goodies, and delivered them directly to the school. Since then, Rebecca, Scott, and fellow travelers have made several trips to other countries, carrying more than 1,000 pounds of clothing, school and medical supplies.

How does it work ?

Pack for a Purpose is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization committed to helping travelers help local communities by providing requested supplies. By informing travelers of the current needs of community projects in the places they visit, Pack for a Purpose encourages vacationers journeying abroad to use 5 pounds of space in their luggage to carry needed supplies to local projects.

Once someone participating in this project arrives in the country they have chosen, they simply drop off the supplies at the hotel when they check in and then the supplies will be delivered for them!

What can you pack that weighs just five pounds? We have a composed a simple list of examples for you:

  • 400 pencils (5 pounds)
  • five deflated soccer balls and an inflation device for a school or an orphanage (5 pounds)
  • a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and 500 band-aids for a clinic (5 pounds)

We think it is a really good way to enjoy your vacation while also helping others. We encourage you to visit their website and form your own opinion about Pack for a Purpose and their program.

What do you think about this?

If you wish to participate or learn more about this great project, just go to the Pack for a Purpose website, (click here to access). You will see how easy it is to select your destination and find a participating hotel. Then you can just click on the property and you’ll find a list of local projects they support and the needed supplies requested by the project!

See you soon!