||TAMARA KAFTALOVICH, Guest Blogger
In just a couple short days, I’ll be embarking on another travel adventure. See, whenever I plan a big trip, I always want to make sure it has some kind of purpose — not necessarily because I want to get the most value out of the money I spend, but rather because life’s just too short. It’s important to sprinkle it with meaningful adventures, whether that’s taking yourself out of your comfort zone, experiencing something breathtaking, learning about other cultures or the way other people live in this world, or giving back to society.
Photo Credit: iStock
So what did I decide to do this time? I’m traveling to the rural parts of southwest India with six complete strangers to give 4,000 children in need a better night’s rest as part of a volunteer bedkit distribution trip with a Canadian charity called Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW).
Here’s how I got to this point…
I work for a PR agency called Maverick PR. Four years ago, our president (Julie Rusciolelli) told us about a charity we were going to offer pro bono services to. She told us it was founded by the Dryden family (the parents of NHL legends Ken and Dave Dryden) and that it raised money and distributed bedkits (typically consisting of a mosquito net, mattress, school supplies and clothing) to children in need in underdeveloped and developing countries. That was all I really needed to know before I knew I wanted to help out in any way I could.
I knew I would one day go on a distribution trip with the charity; however, different variables always got in the way, whether it was timing, money or just plain life.
Fast track to today…
A team of seven volunteers (yes, we’re paying our own way — SCAW is a 100 per cent charity so every cent of a donation goes directly to a bedkit/child in need) are traveling to Belgaum, India to distribute 4,000 bedkits. A donation of $35 to the charity pays for one bedkit. SCAW then works with third-party rotary clubs in the designated country to organize and assemble the bedkits and source children in need to receive them.
A traveling team of volunteers (us) then travel to that designated country, hand out the bedkits and ensure a smooth transaction — we even take pictures of each child receiving their bedkit and send them to the donor upon our return. To date, the charity has raised more than $23 million to provide bedkits for children in 33 countries.
Much more will be said about my adventure to India in my blog posts to come, so until then, I have two more days to wrap up work, pack and tie up any other loose ends. The next time you hear from me, I’ll be in India! Hope you follow along…
Date Added: February 10, 2011 | Comments (3)
Good luck Tammy. Have a great trip! Following your adventure on FB.
Comment by Jeff Caswell — February 10, 2011 @ 12:49 pm
I will be following your adventure with a great deal of interest!!!!!
Enjoy……this experience will give you lots to think about!
Comment by Dave — February 10, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
Impressive! Vawn was right to direct us to read about your adventure. India is an amazing place and you are doing a good thing! Have a wonderful adventure.
Comment by Nancy walsh — February 10, 2011 @ 7:12 pm