Miss A Columnist

Alicia Lawrence was born and raised in Alaska, and has traveled around the world seeking adventure. She’s ridden in a dog sled, climbed over the Roman ruins, got lost in Venice, sang on the Swiss Alps, built a house in Mexico, walked over volcanos in Hawaii, and visited more museums then she can count.
Alicia graduated summa cum laude from Liberty University in 2012 with three degrees in public relations, broadcasting, and journalism. She’s volunteered for numerous non-profits, including Indigenous People’s Technology and Education Center and Special Olympics Virginia. Her senior year she founded Forty-Eight, a charity film competition that brought together film students to help make promotional videos for local charities.
Alicia is a health enthusiast and writes for numerous blogs in the beauty and health genre. She also won Miss Alaska Sweetheart Sr. in high school and enjoys helping others not only look beautiful on the outside but also find their inner beauty.
After college, Alicia married her best friend and she currently works at a tech company as a content coordinator.

Charity Meets Travel: Use Suitcases To Help Others

For most people, the act of packing a suitcase is a task that’s either exciting or done with a tinge of regret. It’s fun if you are filling suitcases in anticipation of going somewhere new, but often less so if you are coming to the final stages of a trip and realize that the grind of the usual routine filled with childcare responsibilities, workplace duties and other essentials will soon follow.

But have you ever used a suitcase for purposes that don’t benefit yourself? Below, you can find out about ways suitcases could help you do something beneficial for others with very little effort.

Do Something Great with Empty Space

Photo Credit: Pack for a Purpose

Photo Credit: Pack for a Purpose

Travelers who are going to countries where large amounts of people are in need often have strong desires to do something helpful but are unsure where to start. An organization called Pack for a Purpose has thoughtfully taken all the guesswork out of that question by partnering with accommodation providers across the world. If you’re staying in a participating hotel or hostel, simply use free space in your suitcase and pack it full of items that will later be distributed to local residents in your destination.

Depending on where you’re headed, you can visit the website to get lists of items that are most needed, ranging from Band-Aids to school supplies. Although there is no limit to the amount of supplies you can bring, the organization recommends people try to reserve space for at least five pounds of goods.

Donate a Suitcase to Promote Safe Childbirth

solar

“We are witnessing what light can do in communities where night means death for those in need of emergency care…” said Dr. Sebisaho who has a clinic in a DR Congo village. (Photo Credit: We Care Solar)

In wealthy countries like the United States, it’s often easy to forget how things like ample lighting and mobile communication devices are hard to find in countries that are still developing. A company called We Care Solar has combined advancements in solar power with a desire to help expectant mothers who will soon be giving birth in places like Tanzania and Nepal.

This company packs suitcases full of lighting supplies and communication devices and gives them to birthing facilities, but each case costs $1,500, not including the expenses related to shipping. Even if you have no immediate plans to visit these countries in need, you can still make a positive impact on pregnant women who live there by donating money on the organization’s website with your PayPal or Amazon account.

Use Your Unwanted Suitcase to Help Michigan’s Foster Children

Perhaps you have a trip to Michigan planned in the upcoming weeks, whether to attend a family reunion, business meeting or just enjoy some time to yourself. Regardless of the specific situation, you can do something to help the state’s foster children feel loved.

Get those no longer used luggage and bags out of self-storage and bring them to one of the many luggage donation bins in Michigan.

Your good deed will assist a campaign called Logan’s Luggage that focuses on giving new or gently used suitcases to foster children just before they get transferred to a new home. Without this program, many kids have no choice but to stash their belongings in black garbage bags.

These are just a few ways suitcases can help people who are less fortunate. The next time you’re packing one for a getaway, think with a broader perspective and consider whether you could take part in a program such as one of those discussed above that uses luggage for a greater good.

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