Meet, Plan, Go!

MPG Giving Back
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Our main goal of our recent nationwide event was to offer inspiration and a community for those contemplating and planning a career break. And we couldn’t have delivered on that without our fantastic hosts!

We are proud to also share that several of our hosts have donated proceeds from their ticket sales to some honorable causes.

AFAR Foundation

Afar Foundation

Greg Sullivan from AFAR and host Sarah Lavender Smith

MPG San Francisco host Sarah Lavender Smith chose to donate the event’s net ticket proceeds totaling $1730 because her venue, the Sports Basement, donated its space to support community nonprofits.

Sarah sought a foundation or cause that would be compatible to MPG’s vision, and to her delight she didn’t have to look far. The San Francisco-based AFAR Foundation seemed like a perfect fit. It’s the philanthropic arm of AFAR Media, whose travel magazine AFAR promotes authentic, transformative travel experiences.

The foundation’s flagship program, “Learning AFAR,” grants international travel scholarships to students who would not otherwise be able to explore the world. Since its inception in September 2009, the AFAR Foundation, with nonprofit partner Global Explorers, has sponsored over 100 underserved students from Oakland and a handful of other cities, along with educators, in traveling to Cambodia, Costa Rica and Peru, where they do volunteer work and learn about the country’s culture and environment. AFAR CEO and co-foundger Greg Sullivan spoke at the SF MPG event and said, “This kind of travel is the best form of education.”

Website: AFAR Foundation
Facebook: AFAR Foundation on Facebook

VISTA Alternative Education Program

Celebrate Joan
Participants in last years event

MPG DC host Sonia Zamborsky donated $500 to become a “silver” sponsor of this year’s Celebrate Joan 5K Run & Fun Walk.

This event is an annual fundraiser for the Joan Zamborsky Memorial Trust Fund, which benefits the VISTA Alternative Education Program of the Allentown School District. It’s an event Sonia and her siblings organize each year to help raise funds for the school where their mom worked as a science teacher. VISTA has used the proceeds to buy science supplies of all types, but Sonia’s favorite is “Borsky!” a horned toad who will probably outlive us all.

They started this event in 2006 after their mother was killed in a car accident. It began with friends and family gathering to celebrate her memory and take a few laps around the park, and has grown into an official timed 5K that brings in runners from all over the East Coast. They encourage kids in strollers and dogs on leashes, to keep it fun and family-friendly. Sonia shares, “My mom was the first one who encouraged me to travel and learn about other cultures, so it seemed appropriate that some of the proceeds from this year’s MPG will go to honor her memory.”

Website: Celebrate Joan
Facebook: Celebrate Joan on Facebook
Other: About the Fund | Event Registration | About VISTA

Books to Bhutan

Books to BhutanMPG Los Angeles hosts, George and Lisa Rajna (the creators of We Said Go Travel), participate in community lives when they travel and support those in need – whether it’s Burmese refugees in Northern Thailand, the Jewish World Watch Solar Oven project to help people acquire the tools they need to improve their lives, or importing purses fabricated from local tapestries made by Kazak women to better provide for their families. The idea of sharing profits from the Meet, Plan, Go! event with others came as a natural continuation of their other works.

Lisa Napoli, who wrote Radio Shangri-La and participated on the Los Angeles panel, has been working to help create a library in Mongar, Bhutan through her project, Books to Bhutan. She says, “Please help us bring the joy of books and reading to these kids, who are so eager to learn.” As teachers and library lovers, the Rajnas know that supporting Lisa’s project with the profits from their event made a perfect match; they’ve sent $300 to help fill the shelves in Mongar with books. If you would like to help add more to the library, please use this link.

Website: Books to Bhutan

American Refugee Committee

MPG Minneapolis host Kirk Horsted donated 20% of event proceeds to American Refugee Committee. ARC works with its partners and constituencies to provide opportunities and expertise to refugees, displaced people and host communities. They help people survive conflict and crisis and rebuild lives of dignity, health, security and self-sufficiency. ARC is committed to the delivery of programs that ensure measurable quality and lasting impact for the people they serve.

Today, ARC works in 7 countries around the world helping victims of war and civil conflict rebuild their lives. ARC programs in Africa and Asia provided health care, clean water, shelter repair, legal aid, trauma counseling, microcredit, community development services, and repatriation assistance to 2.5 million people last year. ARC bases its relationship with uprooted peoples on mutual respect and a compassionate exchange of knowledge and values.

Website: ARC Relief
Facebook: ARC Relief on Facebook

How has travel inspired you to help the organizations you are involved with?

Career Break Guide Table of Contents

Meet Plan Go