Magnanimous Love in Curacao
Pack for a Purpose (PFAP.org) is a not for profit organisation adopted by JOZU for WOMEN that facilitates positive change and localised giving through donations in absolute grassroots fashion. In this issue’s Soul Search, we introduce Kimberly Robertson. She shares her beautiful memory of her wedding day and how she involved her guests into making her destination wedding more meaningful and creating a positive impact as a result of tourism.
In her own words…
Weddings, albeit the best day of our lives, can also be overwhelming to plan. Especially so, if it is a destination wedding. We decided on Sunscape Resort and Spa in Curacao as our chosen venue. Darrell and I wanted to spend less time planning and more time celebrating with friends and family. As invitations went out, the one question we were repeatedly asked was, “What can we get you as a wedding gift?”.
We had always known we wanted to donate our wedding gifts to charity. It was meaningly enough to us that our close friends and family were traveling all the way to celebrate our special day. We researched several charitable organizations before Darrell found Pack for a Purpose. Rebecca Rothney, the Founder and Chairperson, replied to us instantly with so much enthusiasm, sincerity and appreciation that we stopped researching.
From our correspondences, it was obvious Rebecca was working with people in need and would go above and beyond to help us achieve our purpose. She connected us with two great charities that seemed really excited about our visit. Pack for a Purpose shared with us a list of items that would be useful for the respective organizations. We sent all our guests an email listing some ideas on what they could fit in their suitcases with whatever extra luggage space they had. At the resort in Curacao, we designated a collection area to gather all the donations for the two charities. We had gathered plenty of school supplies, games, craft supplies, personal care items, socks, and toys, amongst other things that the children were bound to find useful.
We arranged for transportation from the resort to deliver the goods to each of the organizations. We did not want to obligate our guests into coming along with us for the two trips to the charities to give them the donations from our wedding party. We instead gave them an option to come along if they desired. We were pleasantly surprised when everyone was keen and excited to go. There was not a single empty seat in the 29 passenger van. This was one of the best feelings in the world, knowing that our friends and family had not only come to celebrate our wedding, but also shared our passion for giving to those in need.
The first organization Pack for a Purpose connected us with, Fundashon Amigunan di Cristo, was an after-school program run by a couple who graciously opened their home to care for the children in their community. I cannot imagine the struggles these children would face if not for the generosity and selflessness of Emma and her husband, and the many volunteers who selflessly donate their time and resources to help make this program a success.
The second organization, Siloam Children’s Hospice and Orphanage, was equally amazing and heart-warming. It was a wonderful feeling knowing our donations would be put to valuable use by children who are possibly in their last stages of life, or simply just in need of shelter.
In retrospect, the trips to both organizations only took about an hour and a half each, which equates to a mere 3 hours out of a 7-day vacation. In that short amount of time, we were able to impact the lives of many deserving children and show our appreciation to two programs that are proof that great people truly exist. It also was a sign to our family and friends that ‘giving’ is truly the greatest virtue. There was something so incredibly special about starting our journey in life as man and wife right after an experience like that. The children of Curacao will forever be a part of our lives.
Pack for a Purpose is a unique and heartwarming movement. We all travel. When you stop to acknowledge that traveling is a privilege that many in the world are not awarded, you can’t help but be thankful. Out of thankfulness, the desire to help those in need is born. I will always Pack for a Purpose going forward. If we all Pack for a Purpose, we can change the world – one suitcase at a time.
I’m fun loving and love to travel, wanderlust addict!