We Do Good Awards Finalists: Help Someone Take the Trip of a Lifetime
A while back, I blogged about the $5,000 voluntourism grant we donated to WeTV’s We Do Good Awards. For months, they’ve been searching the nation for the most inspiring women volunteers and now the finalists have been announced.
In addition to winning a $5,000 grant to take a voluntourism trip with one of our official partners, the winner will be honored at an awards ceremony in New York City and featured in Ladies’ Home Journal.
Meet the Finalists: Each finalist was nominated by someone in her community.
My nominee, Nancy, is making a real difference in lives around the world. She travels on a shoestring to the poorest countries to help others. Nancy is always first to volunteer to reach her hand out to help others and she is not deterred by distance or inaccessibility. She has traveled to the remote mountainous areas of Guatemala to distribute food and supplies to villagers. She backpacked to the far northern regions of Thailand to reach tribal children. Her efforts have also led her to remote villages in Dominican Republic, Honduras and Morocco. Nancy crosses cultural barriers to immerse herself in a full living experience by eating and sleeping with indigenous residents. She embraces differences and diversity. She is a delightful teacher, a tireless volunteer for all good causes, and the personification of an optimistic, responsive woman. Wherever Nancy goes, she is a natural ambassador of goodwill and generosity. Nancy naturally generates smiles.
My mom, Elaine, works tirelessly with the medical personnel of Sierra Leone, Africa to reduce the infant mortality rate in the country. She travels to Africa once or twice a year to teach nurses sterile procedures for delivering babies and caring for the newborns. She would use the grant to fund various health fairs in the country and to buy medical supplies and cloth diapers. It is likely that, should she win a trip, she would use it to travel back to Sierra Leone to continue her work. If she were to take a totally selfish trip, it would likely be to Greece, for the trip of her dreams!
Charyn is dedicated to improving the lives of others in any way that she can. In 3 months, she raised enough money from independent donors to fund her volunteer project titled The Global Citizen Project, where she will serve in 12 different community projects in 12 countries over 12 months. This was her own idea that she conjured up and made happen! She just returned from Honduras where she served in the Building a Future organization.
Somy founded and runs No More Tears, a non-profit that assists victims of domestic violence, most of whom are immigrants. She does this with no salary and devotes all her free time to helping these women and children. If she received a voluntourism grant, she would likely travel to India or Pakistan, where we know there are many women suffering from abuse.
Jennifer Catron, a school psychologist at an inner-city high school in San Antonio has worked tirelessly to provide educational opportunities for children with disabilities at home and abroad. Jennifer, who was born with a disability herself, saw the opportunities that she had access to because she was born in the United States. After serving abroad in the Peace Corps, Jennifer was a founding member of Ready, Willing and Enable! and began traveling to the West Indian nation of Dominica every year to conduct a camp for children with special needs. She also travels and volunteers in Mexico and Central and South America. Since Jennifer founded Ready, Willing and Enable! almost 40 children have attended the special camp, approximately 20 adults have attended computer classes or learned how care for persons with disabilities. Jennifer is a prime example of how a disability cannot stop a person from traveling and volunteering to enrich the lives of others.
We at Travelocity are very inspired by all five finalists and can’t wait to congratulate the lucky winner. Here’s to passionate people and the difference they make around the world!
Wish you could win a $5,000 voluntourism grant? You’re in luck! We give away two grants every quarter to deserving travelers. The next deadline is September 30th. Get started on your application now!
My name: Alison Presley
Nickname: Presbo, because I'm good police.
How I earn my keep: I'm the manager of Travelocity's Travel for Good program. Visit Travel for Good to learn more about our green travel and voluntourism initiatives!
What kind of traveler am I: I'm an intrepid food explorer. I usually starve myself on the plane (not that that's too hard to do) so that the moment my toes touch foreign soil I'm ready to sample new and exciting cuisine. I like to dine everywhere from hole-in-the-wall local secrets to Michelin Guide gems. Cannelés, poi, boiled peanuts, oxtail soup, poutine--there's no stopping this adventurous palate.
Greatest travel lesson I've learned: It doesn't cost a lot of money to do good. Offsetting your carbon impact only adds a few bucks to your trip, green hotels are very affordable, and volunteering locally during your vacation is a great way to give back and learn about the culture.