Passports with Purpose Succeeds in Raising Funds to Build School in Cambodia

26 January 2010

Passport School to Receive Clean Water, Garden, Medical Care with Additional Funds Raised

SEATTLE, WA – Passports with Purpose (PwP) completed its second annual collaborate fundraiser on December 21, 2009 by raising over USD $27,500 to build a school in rural Cambodia through American Assistance for Cambodia (AAfC). The “Passport School” will be built in the region of Preah Vihear by summer 2010. When the original goal of USD $13,000 to build the school was met just one week into the fundraiser, the founders of PwP, Beth Whitman, Debbie Dubrow, Michelle Duffy and Pam Mandel, decided to double the goal to raise additional funds to support the children of the Passport School with clean water, healthy meals, and medical care.

“We have been absolutely astounded at how many people were willing to help support this effort. It's a great testament to what just $10 can do when hundreds of people work together towards a common goal,” said Debbie Dubrow. On November 30, 2009, Passports with Purpose launched with support from sponsors Virtuoso, Best Travel Deals, BootsNall Got Passport: Will Travel, We'll Serve, HomeAway, HostelBookers, Travelfish, TravellersPoint Travel Community and Uptake. People who donated to AAfC were entered to win over 60 amazing prizes, from travel getaways and the latest travel gear to specialty items and unique experiences.

“One billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their name and about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005,” said Michelle Duffy. “I am a co-founder of Passports with Purpose because of statistics such as these. I passionately believe that every child should have access to basic education. I also believe that education is a way out of poverty.”

“I’m simply overwhelmed by the generosity of our travel community and the ability to harness social networking and the Internet to make this happen – especially in this economy,” continued Beth Whitman. Over 80 travel bloggers helped secure a prize, encouraged their readers to donate to PwP, hosted the PwP badge or blogged about the effort.

“We believe in the power of travel to create change. Everyone who participated in Passports with Purpose this year made that true,” added Pam Mandel. “Our school, where kids in recovering war ravaged Cambodia will learn, eat, get their scrapes bandaged and grow up with hope for something better, is real because of all the participants.”

PwP founders are planning a tour to Cambodia through Whitman’s company (and ATTA member), Wanderlust and Lipstick, for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Passport School in the summer of 2010. For more details about Passports with Purpose 2010 visit and for more info about the tour, contact Beth Whitman at [email protected].