Rosen Centre Hotel

Passports With Purpose 2013: buildOn

We believe that it is important to give back to those in need in any way possible, big or small. Each step we take to help one another, makes our world a better place, and is precisely why we are participating in hosting a prize for the Passports With Purpose project this year. A donation of just $10 can help change someone’s life and in return you get an entry to win an amazing travel prize.

As our blog is only a little over a year old, this is the first year we are hosting a prize for the event, but in the past years we have been overjoyed to donate to the cause. Each year, we feel good about the impact our donations have made as the charity organization is selected carefully to ensure the community who receives help will truly benefit from it long-term. So let’s join together this year to give back, help out and make the world a more loving place.

So what is Passports With Purpose?

Passports With Purpose is an annual fundraiser supported by the travel community to give back to destinations worldwide. In its 6th year of running, the organization has done some amazing things, such as building wells in Haiti to provide fresh drinking water for multiple communities, building libraries in Zambia for school children and the community as a whole, building schools, and more.

Here’s the scoop on the mass amount of exciting prizes you have a chance to win. The fundraiser officially opens for donations on November 25th. Check out the list of prizes here and decide which ones you would like to enter your name into; prizes range from entire vacation packages, to tours, accommodations and products. Each $10 donation gets you one prize entry, so whether you donate $10 for one prize entry or $100 for ten prize entries, it all makes a difference and helps to reach one large end goal. On December 9th, the donations for prizes close (although you can still continue to donate, just not for prizes), and winners will be notified by December 16th.

The Charity: buildOn

Each year the projects and donations keep growing and this year’s project and goal is to raise $115,000 for the charity buildOn to build three schools and fund three adult literacy programs in the Sikasso region of southern Mali, Africa. Just as travel can transform our lives, education has the power to transform as well. buildOn’s mission is “to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education”, and who can’t wholeheartedly support that cause?! Education and empowerment of individuals is so important in creating a world of opportunity and sustainability. According to research, if all of the students in low-income countries were able to finish school with basic reading skills, the global poverty level would drop 12%, and the number of civil wars are also reduced when education is attained. Mali is the 5th poorest country and has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. buildOn has built almost 200 schools in this region and the project is continuing its sustainability even in times of civil unrest in the area. The schools are constructed by volunteers and 12 local leaders to guide the project, and community members agree to send as many girls to school as boys. The adult literacy program boasts an 85% completion rate; both men and women are educated and 100% of those who complete the program leave knowing how to read, write and do basic math.

I believe everyone should have an opportunity to learn and grow, and I’m so glad we can help assist in making it happen through buildOn as each and every penny helps reach and possibly exceed our goal.

Prize we are Hosting:

The Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, FL, generously donated a two night stay for us to host as a prize for this years Passports With Purpose. We have stayed at this hotel before, and have plans to stay again in a couple of weeks–it is one of our favorite hotels in Orlando. The location is convenient to the multitude of theme parks and it is located right off of International Drive with a skywalk to the convention center. Although International Drive isn’t my favorite area of Orlando, it is centrally located and the hotel is less than a mile from Pointe Orlando which is a mall like spot with shops, restaurants, bars, a movie theater, and more. We tend to explore the non theme park side of Orlando when we visit and encourage you to do the same on your next visit–there is so much more to the Orlando area than Mickey (although I must say, we can’t fault you if you are Disney obsessed–we have a soft spot for the land where dreams come true, too). So, that being said, whatever your fancy, the location is convenient.

Rosen Centre Hotel

As for the hotel itself–it is very nice and comfortable with amenities that include free Wifi (my favorite!); a spa with an impressive menu of services as well as a fitness center; scheduled shuttles to theme parks such as Universal, SeaWorld, Wet & Wild and Aquatica; a tropical swimming pool, whirlpool and wading pool for the youngins; preferred tee times at the nearby Shingle Creek Golf Club; meeting facilities for you business travelers; and 9 dining options ranging from quick cafes to full service restaurants, think tapas, sushi and more, and room service to boot. Parking does come at a fee–you will have to pay to either valet or self-park your car, but in an area where parking can be scarce, there is a ramp behind the hotel with plenty of space. They also have a number of pet friendly rooms, so you can bring Fido along for the ride as well!

Rosen Centre Hotel

Rosen Centre Hotel

Rosen Centre Hotel

Prize Terms: Here’s the scoop on the redemption of the prize. Winner will receive a two night stay at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, FL. Valid for standard room subject to room/rate availability; not valid on holidays. Valid through November 30, 2014. Certificate has no cash value and original certificate must be presented at check-in, no copies will be accepted. The two night stay is worth $300 and is all-inclusive of tax.

Final notes:

We really hope you head over to Passports With Purpose, take a look at all the exciting prizes, and give a little to those in need. Every dollar helps in so many ways, and you may even win an amazing prize! Although I can’t enter to win my own prize, I’m excited to choose a few others to donate towards instead. Good luck everyone, but whatever happens, remember the real winners are the children and adults who will now have access to a school and literary program in the Sikasso region of southern Mali, Africa.


Special thanks to the Passports with Purpose sponsors: Expedia (platinum sponsor);  DK Eyewitness Travel—DK Eyewitness Guides and Rough Guides (gold); Collette Vacationsand TBEX (silver sponsors); HomeAwayHostelBookersGo With Oh, and Eating Londn Food Tours (bronze sponsors). Photographs courtesy of Rosen Centre Hotel. Also, thanks to the Rosen Centre Hotel for donating a two night stay–we were not asked to write a review in return.  As always, all opinions are our own.