One of the sayings common around our office is: “Individually, we’re ordinary people, but collectively, we’re capable of extraordinary things.”
The sentiment behind that saying has been in the atmosphere here at Base Camp for years, and it comes through in the magic we make every day at G Adventures. We’ve always said that our culture is our brand, and that we’re more than just a travel company. G Adventures is a movement that inspires people all over the world to travel with purpose and do something meaningful with their leisure time.
When the product you sell can make your customers feel that good, it’s only natural for the bond between client and customer to get very close. I’ve always been impressed with the degree to which our community of travellers have engaged with us in our social enterprise initiatives. We take our positions on social issues very seriously, and I’d like to take a moment here to thank every one of our travellers for joining us. Your commitment to us allows us to do some truly amazing work. Thank you.
Three weeks ago, we appealed to our friends and partners to help the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. At the time, we didn’t know what we should do, only that we had to do something. We don’t have the resources on the ground in the Philippines so the question remained: Could we truly have meaningful impact? There was much hand-wringing around here about how best to apply ourselves to the causes. Planeterra, our non-profit foundation, has always operated with the mindset that tangible aid goes farther than financial donations (as evidenced by our prior campaigns to build water tanks in drought-ravaged Kenya, provides supplies to Haiti and distribute aid to earthquake victims in Peru). We knew the Philippines needed our help, but what kind of help would be most valuable?
This is where the amazing part comes in. Within 24 hours of our initial appeal, our network of friends, partners, and staff raised $25,000 for Architecture for Humanity, an organization that is working to rebuild the Philippines. The truly amazing part: That total was reached $10, $20, and $50 at a time. It seemed as though everybody wanted to be a part of the solution, no matter how small their contribution. People literally would not stop donating! All told, Planeterra took in over $50,000 in just a few days, and with a top-off donation from G Adventures, I’m thrilled to report that with your help, we’ve raised over $80,000 to date.
But you know what’s really cool? Those donations – those little, bite-sized donations that added up to something really big – didn’t just come from individuals. It came from junior soccer teams; from travel industry consortiums; from bar-trivia teams; from chili cook-off fundraisers; even from our competitors. It all came from people, alone and in groups, who answered the call to do something good for other people. (Check out the full list of donors here.)
To those of you who gave, we wanted to let you know that your donations are quite literally brightening the lives of thousands: A portion of the money raised went to supplying solar lighting to victims, many of whom will be without electricity for up to six months. We’re also supporting refugee camps in Manilla for residents displaced by the storm. The rest of the funds are being allocated to Architecture for Humanity, who are already working to rebuild the Philippines.
To butcher a common phrase, 80,000 good turns deserve a couple thousand more. We’re making one final push before the holiday season to reach $100,000. Remember: G Adventures covers all of Planeterra’s administration costs and fees, so every single cent you give goes to the people of the Philippines. As of today, we’re just $17,000 short of something truly astounding. Let’s go for it.
I wanted to take this time to personally thank everyone who responded to our appeal. Your contribution, however small, is bringing real change and comfort to people in need. On behalf of everyone at G Adventures and Planeterra, thank you for allowing us to continue to do this work. We know we breathe very rare air at G Adventures. We appreciate how fortunate we are to do these sorts of things, and we recognize that you are what puts us in this position.
Thank you for trusting us, for being a part of our story, and for continuing to make amazing happen.
Bruce Poon Tip