Bloggers and travel brands: Have you ever wondered how you can use your social media platforms to give back?
The TBEX team knows. Their ongoing generous support of the travel blogger’s fundraiser Passports With Purpose has helped us to reach hundreds of bloggers and brands over the past four years.
We call ourselves the travel bloggers’ fundraiser for a reason – each year members of the online travel community come together and donate prizes that we raffle off in $10 increments over a two-week period in December. The entire fundraiser takes place online – in the halls of Twitter, the corridors of Facebook, and of course on the blogs of our supporters.
Each year since 2008 the board of Passports With Purpose has chosen a different global charity project to fund. We’ve helped build a school in Cambodia, libraries in Zambia, wells in Haiti, and a village in India among other projects.
This year all donations will go to Sustainable Harvest International, an organization that has worked in Latin American since 1997 to help families grow their own food in ways that don’t further degrade the fragile tropical ecosystems there.
For every $5,000 that we raise, Sustainable Harvest can help one family in Honduras for five years. And because their approach is designed to be long-term, this hopefully means the benefits of their work will last for generations to come.
The board of Passports With Purpose took a slightly different approach when choosing our charity this year. We went out to our past participating bloggers and asked what they thought of our top three choices. Their endorsement of helping out in Central America was overwhelming. And Honduras needs aid now more than ever – not only is it one of the poorest countries in the region, it has the unfortunate distinction of having the world’s highest murder rate per capita according to Reuters and the United Nations.
So it’s especially exciting to us that TBEX North America is taking place so close to the country we will be raising money to help. Better still: The conference is featuring a session on blogging in Latin America. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to learn right from the bloggers themselves what it’s like to live and travel in this part of the world.
We’re also looking forward to sharing our message with all of the TBEX attendees. We need you – all of you! – to participate and make our fundraiser a success.
Thanks to TBEX’s generous sponsorship Passports With Purpose will have representatives in both Cancun and TBEX Europe in Athens. Our social media coordinator Jessica Glynn of the website The Gap Year Guru will be in Greece and I’ll be in Mexico. Interested bloggers and sponsors can come and meet us at our table during the speed dating sessions.
Whether you’ve participated in Passports With Purpose in the past or are a complete newbie, we hope you’ll stop by, say hi, and find out just what you can do to make a difference in Honduras with your blog and Twitter handle this year.
(Not attending TBEX? You can still help. Learn more at passportswithpurpose.org.)
Author Bio: Mara Gorman has participated in Passports With Purpose as a blogger since 2008 and has served on the board since 2013. She is also the founder of the blog The Mother of all Trips and the annual #backtoski online campaign. She is speaking in the panel “Pay to Play: Crafting Compelling Campaigns” from 12:00-1:00 pm on Saturday, September 13.