BY Lisa Lindblad
August 23, 2017
I am always energized by the bi-annual Javits Center show that features a staggering array of products for the home, lifestyle and gift. My favorite floor includes the global handmade objects that attest to creativity, cultural diversity, passion and pride. One of my favorite booths this year showcased these marvelous solar lights that, seriously, can change the world. And they are beautifully designed.
The majority of the world needs to have light, which is one of the most basic and fundamental human needs. It is still astounding that 1.6 billion people today do not have access to safe and sustainable light and rely on kerosene to light their world at night. The absence of light for the majority of the world’s population has had catastrophic ramifications on our local and global environment, and so we are all interconnected through light and, also, though the absence of it.
The SolarPuff is a little lantern with a HUGE impact invented by Alice Min Soo Chun. It is a patented solar flatpack + origami expandable lantern designed with high performance fabric material that is specifically engineered for durability, flexibility and adaptability. It is waterproof, and it is the lightest solar lantern on the market.
I am often asked by our travelers for advice on what to take as donations or gifts to their destinations. It's a hard question for me to answer as I have been in many situations where distributing things like pencils, flashlights and balls has gone awry...the wrong people end up with the goods, there is mayhem, there are fights, tears and disappointment. A mess. That is why I am so delighted, and calmed, to discover Pack for a Purpose and its remarkably sensible and clear vision for giving to others.
Pack for a Purpose has solved a couple of potential problems to this kind of giving. The first thing it asks you to do is to select your destination (presumably, destinations are being added all the time). If your destination is listed, you will find under it another list of hotel partners, each of which has its own list of requested items. The brilliance of this targeting is that your gifts align with specified local needs. The organization then tells you how to pack the goods - keep in original boxes or take out, deflate soccer balls, etc. - and then, once in country, you can deliver your donation to the hotel property who will pass on your donation to the school or clinic or project requesting them.
This should become standard practice for all of us when we travel.