Dallas Local is Awarded Volunteer Vacation Grant to Kenya
Travelocity Research Shows More People Interested in Volunteer Vacations, Grants Give Recipients Opportunity to Change the World – One Trip at a Time
SOUTHLAKE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sabre Holdings employee Emily Kinney recently was awarded a Change Ambassador Grant through Travelocity’s Travel for Good(SM) program. Travelocity, which is owned by Sabre Holdings, created the grant program as part of its Travel for Good(SM) initiative to encourage travelers who are interested in volunteering to make the world a little better while they are on vacation.
“During free time, we’d take walks in the area surrounding the camp, and on one day, we walked into Wamba where we visited a preschool and spent time at a local market”
Travelocity’s 2008 forecast poll found that 38 percent of more than 1,000 survey respondents were interested in taking a vacation where they can give back and make a difference during their stay. People are simply looking for ways to give back and get more involved in important causes – and that is exactly why Kinney applied for the grant.
Each quarter Travelocity awards three $5,000 grants, one of which is reserved for employees. Kinney received the employee grant based on her devotion to giving back to her community. She chose a volunteer vacation offered through Earthwatch to the Samburu region of Kenya where she spent time studying behaviors of Grevy’s Zebras and carnivores such as hyenas and leopards.
“The grant made it possible for me to realize a lifelong dream to visit Africa,” said Kinney. “The wildlife and the landscape we saw on a daily basis were breathtaking, but I was most impacted by the wonderful people I met – the Samburu people, the researchers, staff and the other volunteers – people I never would have met or gotten to know on a typical vacation.”
Kinney chose the Earthwatch program because of her own interest in wildlife and conservation. She felt that the volunteer trip to Kenya would allow her to have a positive impact globally, and at the same time, experience a destination on a deeper, more meaningful level. Even though she spent a significant amount of time volunteering, the Earthwatch project also added in time to explore.
“During free time, we’d take walks in the area surrounding the camp, and on one day, we walked into Wamba where we visited a preschool and spent time at a local market,” said Kinney. “Whenever we left the camp, on foot or in the Land Rover, the children would run out waving and yelling ‘ciao!’ because, we were told, they thought we were Italian. That’s just one of the hundreds of memories that all add up to the trip of a lifetime.”
Emily Kinney’s volunteer vacation story and photos of her trip have been posted on Travelocity’s community site. Visit http://travelforgood.igougo.com for more details on Emily’s experience as well as many other volunteer vacation stories from around the world.
Under the Travel for Good initiative, first launched in August 2006, Travelocity began a program called Change Ambassadors to help bring the idea of “voluntourism” to a broader, mainstream audience. The Change Ambassadors program awards consumer and employee grants to people who wish to help others through volunteering, but do not have the financial means to take a volunteer vacation. Travelocity awards two grants per quarter to the public and one grant per quarter to employees.
Applicants can apply for the Change Ambassadors Grant either as an individual or as part of a team. Each grant will fund up to $5,000 for the transportation to, as well as the costs associated with, any trip organized by one of Travelocity’s volunteer travel partners for individuals or groups deemed worthy based on the merit of their applications and their ability to meet the grant requirements. Additional details and instructions to apply for the grant are available at www.travelocity.com/travelforgood. All grants are subject to terms and conditions, which are available on the site.
About the Travel for Good Program
The Travel for Good program was created by Travelocity employees as a means to better the world through travel. The program consists of two primary initiatives – Go Zero (carbon offsetting) and Change Ambassadors (volunteer vacations).
The company launched its Go Zero program in conjunction with the Conservation Fund to help customers lessen the effect of climate change on our world and enhance forests and wetlands through forestation programs. Carbon offset purchases, available for flights purchased on Travelocity, have nearly doubled since the beginning of 2007.Since the program began just over one year ago approximately 8,200 trees have been planted in the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge, which is located 45 miles north of New Orleans. Over their lifetime, those 8,200 trees are expected to trap more than 21 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (nearly 10,500 tons).
Travelocity’s Change Ambassador program makes it easy for volunteers to find opportunities to help serve local communities while on vacation. Travelocity, who acts as an aggregator for pre-screened voluntourism organizations, has teamed up with some of the top volunteer organizations in the country, including Cross-Cultural Solutions, Earthwatch, Globe Aware, and Take Pride in America. Key components of the Change Ambassadors program are consumer and employee grants that are being awarded to people who wish to help others through volunteering, but do not have the financial means to take a volunteer vacation. Travelocity is awarding two $5,000 grants per quarter to the public and one $5,000 grant per quarter to employees. More information can be accessed at http://www.travelocity.com/t4g.
Travelocity® is committed to being the traveler's champion - before, during and after the trip – and provides the most comprehensive and pro-active guarantee in the industry – see http://www.travelocity.com/guarantee for details. This customer-driven focus, backed by 24/7 live phone support, great prices and powerful shopping technology has made Travelocity the sixth largest travel agency - booking $10.1 billion in travel worldwide in 2006. Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also owns and operates Travelocity Business® for corporate travelers, lastminute.com, a leader in European online travel and ZUJI, a leader in Asia-Pacific online travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation, a world leader in travel commerce.