• Friday, October 30, 2020

Charities To Donate To This Thanksgiving

The Thankful Issue
November 20, 2019
By , Founder and Editor-in-chief

I love this time of year. Thanksgiving is my holiday, because of the mere simplicity of its premise. My view is that if you are thankful, you are happy. For the past eight years, I have had the privilege of writing our annual Thankful letter. That we have been in business for eight years, is in itself a reason to be grateful. To run a business is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but also one of the most challenging. But with every challenge that we have met since we started in 2011, we’ve grown as a company. I’ve always been incredibly proud of our team, but this year is unique because I’m happy with where we’re at, eight years in. It doesn’t mean I’m satisfied, or that we’re anywhere near where we will be at our full potential, but we have built a real business that enriches our audience. Whether you’re dreaming of travel, planning travel or just want some inspiration to live a fuller life, you’ve come to the right place.

Speaking of inspiration, in line with our tradition, we are highlighting charities that have inspired us on our travels. I’ve traveled to over 30+ countries this year, on my way to the 195, but I’m at the stage where it’s not about the numbers anymore. It’s about the experiences and what I can contribute to this world. At the start of 2019, I traveled to Cambodia and found Pour un Sourire d’Enfant, an organization that has elevated the lives and education of children formerly living and eating in massive garbage dumps. This organization is the future of Cambodia.

The organization: Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE)
The mission: To help children escape from destitution and lead them to decent, skilled and well-paid jobs. PSE believes that each child must be allowed to develop healthily, both physically and psychologically, and must also be well-educated.
What they do: Over 6,000 children are involved in PSE programs, all of which come from poor families, as identified by the PSE team. Many are child laborers, scavengers, street children, school dropouts, abused or orphaned children, most of whom come from families that live in dangerous or un-livable conditions in slums around large cities. PSE addresses these children’s needs, including food, protection, education, healthcare, and family support. They also teach them a skilled trade so they can join the working Cambodian society when they’re older, and be able to provide for themselves.
How to donate: Donations can be made through this secure website.

The Plaster House has always been near and dear to my heart since I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The Plaster House provide pre and post-operative care along with life-changing surgeries to children. They give the gift of being able to walk, to see, to live a fuller life. I knew they were winners the moment I met them; I love to see their continued success and growth.

The organization: The Plaster House
The mission: To offer high-love, low-cost surgical rehabilitation for disabled children in Tanzania.The Plaster House believes that no child in Tanzania should live with a treatable disability.
What they do: The Plaster House never turn a child away, and children come from poor families all over Tanzania. Since 2008, over 5,000 children with a correctable disability have come through The Plaster House to be guided through their journey of assessment, surgery or other treatment, followed by recovery. The Plaster House are currently operating with 80 beds, 45 members of staff, and the capacity to care for over 100 patients at a time.
How to donate: Donations can be made through this secure website.

Lastly, I recently returned from Afghanistan, where I was a guest lecturer on entrepreneurship at the American University of Afghanistan. Over 15 years ago, Laura Bush quietly assembled an extraordinary group to effect real cultural change and opportunity in Afghanistan after the Taliban regime by creating a university. Education is the pillar to change, and 13 years in, 2500 students of which 48% are women, this University graduates more Fulbright scholars than any other in the world. It is the legacy of the US war in Afghanistan, and the future of this country. Check out my Editor’s Note this December, where I share more of my experiences of going into an active war zone and the inspirational people I met along the way. In other words, just another day in Galavante life.


The organization: American University of Afghanistan (AUAF)
The mission: To provide world-class higher education that prepares leaders to meet the needs of Afghanistan and the region. The core values of the University are freedom, responsibility, promotion of democratic values, free expression and inquiry, equal opportunity, individual rights, tolerance, and honorable personal and professional behavior.
How to donate: Donations can be made through this secure website.

This time of year is our chance to say thank you to you for all of your support in building the dream that is Galavante. Every day I wake, I know that it is a gift to be able to do what I love. Thank you for joining us around the world, in every hotel, every restaurant, every experience and every friendship that we have made. We are thankful beyond any words that can express. 

All the happiness in the world to you this holiday season.

Christine Drinan, Founder & The Galavante Team