I want to sponsor you. How does it work?
To sponsor Giving Vicariously, visit www.letter.ly/GivingVicariously. You will just need to enter your e-mail, and you will be sent to the Amazon website. If you’ve ever bought a book on Amazon.com, they’re the ones that handle the $3.50 / month – use your current account or register with Amazon. That way your information is secure and I stay sane. You will receive an e-mail newsletter that summarizes the premium content of the week and the password for exclusive subscriber content.
Where does the money go?
To start, sponsorship will help to make my volunteer travel sustainable. During this time I plan to work with various volunteer organizations and network with other travelers to grow the movement more effectively. At least $1 per monthly subscription will be kept separate for charitable efforts – direct donations to organizations featured on this blog, and worthy causes along the way. As the number of subscribers increases I look forward to increasing this number. A small portion will keep the site running, and provide some basic promotional materials such as postcards and fliers.
What types of charitable efforts will you make?
More details, and a list of organizations can be found on the Causes page, but here’s a quick overview:
When traveling in poor or developing areas, the most direct impact I hope to make is feeding street kids and families with trips to the market. While traveling through Peru and Bolivia, I was astounded by the number of kids on the street working or begging for their next meal. A full meal, for example soup and a plate of chicken and rice generally costs around a dollar at local markets in these areas. Yet these children act like they are being taken to Disney World.
I also hope to network with hostels who can connect these kids and families with other backpackers passing through. Simply mentioning the program when travelers check in could make a huge difference. It’s not a revolutionary idea, but it’s definitely a cultural and charitable experience that most travelers miss out on.
In addition I will be on the look out for volunteer opportunities along the way and from time to time I plan to slow down and participate in a program for a few weeks or even a few months. Common opportunities include teaching English, building schools and homes, community development, and environmental work. When appropriate I will support these organizations with purchases of school books, building materials, donations, etc.
What happens when you aren’t traveling?
I learned on my last trip that although endless travel sounds great, I do need a break from time to time. When epic views start feeling commonplace, it’s time to settle down. And it’s nice to see the family once in awhile.
As far as content goes, there will be time for reflection and summarizing the trip. But I also plan to network with other travelers and organizations and introduce them with guest articles and profiles of their journeys and causes. In this way, quality “on the road” content will be continue even while I’m recovering in the States.
Financially, your sponsorship will continue to to support causes I have found along the way as well as the causes of fellow travelers. If excess funds were to build up (we’ve got a long way to go!), a portion would be put toward kiva.org microfinance loans which provide credit opportunities for businesses in developing countries and have a 98% repayment rate.
So, where to next?
I’m eying Central America, hopefully in the spring. A cheap flight to Cancun and then busing it South.