Project #ShowSumLove: FAQ

 What is Project #ShowSumLove?

 What is your objective with this project?

 Why are you doing this if you only travel part-time?

 How do you select the organizations your partner with?

 How do you collect your donations?

 Can you provide more clarity on how the financial donations are tracked and used?

 How can others contribute to this project?

 Why are you focused on Latin America?

 Is this project also something you’re doing at home?

What is Project #ShowSumLove?

#ShowSumLove is a passion project that looks to provide local organizations with direct donations and mini swag bags in the hopes of empowering local communities, specifically vulnerable females, in developing regions. I partner with non-profit organizations in the communities/regions where I travel. So far my travels have been focused on Latin America.

As mentioned above, the donations come in two forms: sample/travel sized items that are repackaged as mini swag bags and financial donations. While the swag bags aren’t promoting socio-economic development or literacy, they are meaningful. These bag of treats are a way for women to escape their day-to-day hardships and perhaps, aid the process of strengthening their self-confidence. I believe that it’s a way to give women an experience of feeling pampered and beautiful, even if it is for a moment. The financial donations are an investment into their futures and local economy, by purchasing items that support education, literacy and sustainability projects for the individuals in need.

It’s a way to show people that their contributions are meaningful. Being able to send positive vibes and hope from a developed region to complete strangers who are in need is pretty special.

Fundamentally, it supports the idea that we are all connected. The donations are a representation of hope; it shows that a complete stranger on the other side of the world wants to do their tiny part to support the empowerment, socio-economic development and success of communities in the developing world.

What is your objective with this project?

To be clear, I’m not looking to change the world.

I just want to demonstrate to travellers, backpackers and the like that it’s possible to make the time to volunteer, give back and make a small difference while they’re travelling. Whether it’s buying a meal for someone who’s hungry, laying bricks down for a new school or teaching English for free; you don’t have to be a celebrity, rich or an ambassador for the UN.

Really, it’s just about the time you’d like to invest; not how much money you have to contribute.

The model is simple to apply: Find a cause that you’re passionate about, conduct your due diligence, collect your donations and deploy it in the area that you travelling through.

Why are you doing this if you only travel part-time?

Why not? I’m pretty fortunate to be where I am in my life. Even though my trips are for a short duration, I believe that we can always make time to provide a positive and meaningful experience for others.

How do you select the organizations your partner with?

The main criteria for the non-profits that are considered for the project are ones that are focused on providing literacy and educational opportunities for women and children in impoverished areas.

I conduct my own due diligence process, which includes an interview process through e-mail/WhatsApp, Skype conversations and background checks for credibility and authenticity. After the research, I just trust my gut to make the final decision on which organization I’d like to partner with.

How do you collect your donations?

The samples are collected through my personal network. It seems that we all have “stuff” hiding in our cabinets whether it’s from stores, magazines, hotels, airplanes, or dentist visits. I just gather them up whenever people want to give them up.

For my next trip, I’ll send out a reminder well in advance and in the weeks leading up to the trip. That way my friends and network have time to sort through their stuff. This also gives individuals an opportunity to contribute financially if they choose.

Financial donations are accepted in-person, e-mail transfer or through the donations link below via PayPal.

(Note that financial contributions via Paypal is subject to a flat fee of  US$0.59 + ~3% of the transaction amount)

I Want to Contribute Financially

Can you provide more clarity on how the financial donations are tracked and used?

I believe in transparency.

The full amount collected in C$ is disclosed and I track the transactions on a spreadsheet. The only expense would come from when I exchange the Canadian dollars into local currency. From there, the financials are tracked on an item by item basis. Gross donations (in local currency) minus the items purchased until we reach zero or near zero. At the end of the project, a statement will be published in the respective blog post regarding the project.

How can others contribute to this project?

Honestly, I encourage travellers to apply this model to their own travels. Donate items or purchase resources for communities in need.

Start up your own Project #ShowSumLove at home or wherever you’re travelling and just spread those positive vibes when you can.

Why are you focused on Latin America?

It’s a personal preference; I enjoy the Latin American culture and love surfing.  Because of that, my focus has naturally shifted towards Latin America. That being said, there are many underdeveloped and developing regions that would appreciate the help and I encourage travellers to explore all opportunities to give back.

Is this project also something you’re doing at home?

Sort of. The financial donations do not get deployed in Toronto as there are a number of great organizations that already exist to help those in need. However, excess swag bags, or those that are just too big to take with me overseas, are given out to locals in need. I’ll walk around and hand them out to the homeless or to shelters.



33 thoughts on “Project #ShowSumLove: FAQ

  1. This is a really great idea and I like that you are encouraging other travellers to help in their own way rather than by helping a specified cause. It can make such a difference to someone’s day, I try to do this when I’m travelling also. A great outlook.

  2. This is such a nice idea, I love the thought of empowering women and giving them the ability to choose to do something for themselves. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference to how women see themselves and spark off them changing their lives.

  3. What a wonderful gesture! I agree with you when you say that we, as travellers, are truly privileged to be able to explore the world. Not everyone has that chance, so it’s a small thing to do something back for the less fortunate people! Indeed, you don’t have to be a rich celebrity or a charity organisation to do something beautiful!

  4. Great project and I believe that anything contributing to women’s self esteem, especially in countries where they’re not valued, is very important. I’ll keep the project in mind.

  5. I’ve always said people should travel with purpose. Maybe to learn, to volunteer or to teach, whatever it is it should serve a purpose and not just for “selfies.” This is a great concept and I wish you much success.

  6. Thank you to all the commenters. Travelling is pretty awesome, but it’s pretty cool to be able to give back (even if it’s a little) and hope that you will consider doing your Project #ShowSumLove when you are abroad. Happy travels, all 🙂 xoxo

  7. I’m so glad that I came across this post! I absolutely love with what you’re doing for them! If you don’t mind me asking, what non-profit organizations do you personally recommend? I thought it wouldn’t be enough time to do so in such a short duration, but after reading your post, you know what? You’re right? Whether it may be just few days to to weeks, it doesn’t matter.

    My travel partner and I did thought of something to contribute – to the Deaf students in in developing regions, such as South America and Southeast Asia. Depending on the countries, sometimes they don’t access to Sign Language because either they aren’t recognized as an official language nor the Deaf people aren’t recognized as “people,” because the stigma “disabled” or “handicapped” are often viewed as “Deaf and Dumb.” There are many reasons for these issues, and my travel partner and I are hoping to contribute to Deaf children who are in needs.

    Thank you for sharing your post, it really opens my eyes!

    • Thanks for you comment 🙂 I look for non-profits that resonate with me, but my general targets are organizations working with at-risk females and youths in impoverished communities. Specifically, those that focus on literacy and education as I believe those are the fundamentals that each person in the world should have; regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity.

      I think that idea is amazing and hope that there are more travellers like you. To help empower individuals to overcome social stigmas is a huge project to take on; and I certainly commend you both for it! No matter what socio-economic challenge you are trying to overcome is amazing work in itself. Honestly, don’t worry about the “time spent” component because it is the genuine human interaction is what is valued most. One human being that genuinely care about another, lending a helping hand because they are able. That in itself is enough. If you have any further questions, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at 🙂 Happy travels xo

    • Thanks, but these days there are always costs associated to things we do. However, most of my costs are taken care of from my own pocket and never from donors. The outcome is certainly worth it 🙂

  8. This is a great way to help people. We’re in South America at the moment and I think it’s always good to give back to others you meet that are less fortunate than you. We travel with an aeropress coffee maker as we like good coffee and like to make good coffee in unusual places, whenever we can we always share our coffee with the locals around us. It’s a great way to meet local people and chat.
    carly recently posted…Quito hiking Pichincha and exploring the cityMy Profile

  9. What a great idea — I know I echo other commenters in saying that this is such a cool idea to help demonstrate how anyone who travels can choose to make an impact, in their own unique way.

    I’m curious though, where did the name come from? I like it — it definitely stands out!

  10. What a fantastic idea! My travels lately have been very selfish for my and my family’s benefit. I’m really hoping to change that for my 2016 bucket list. This is motivational.

  11. This is so inspirational. I definitely think it’s important to try to make a positive impact in any way possible if you’re traveling long term – especially something like this! I admire this so much and it’s inspired me to do what I can when on the road. I am planning on doing some volunteer work in SE Asia in the coming months, so I’m going to explore my options now. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Awesome Idea, I will aply it to my travels too..I just need to find out better how =D But thanks for the tip! I am in Buenos Aires right now, going to Uruguay soon, would you have recomendations on how I could start? Thanks a lot =)

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