Hey everyone, hope you’re all having a great morning! So this post means a lot to me, because it’s all about giving back. As much as I love to travel, I love to give back whenever and wherever I can.
This started at quite a young age for me. I would watch charity volunteers come to our family home, door knocking for any donation we could give. My parents always gave what they could, even it was a tough week for us and we could spare was $1. Quickly I adopted the same attitude and would hand over my spare change whenever I could. That then developed into me sponsoring a child when I was 15 and had my first part time job and also buying Christmas presents for the Salvation Army’s Christmas appeal. Later down the track, I ended up working in the charity sector myself for around eight years and even though I’ve switched career paths now, I always have that urge in my heart to help others.
Which leads me to this post and how I (and you) can combine your travels with giving back. So! You’ve arrived at your destination, navigated your way to your accommodation, checked in, found your room, dumped your bags, and immediately make your way to the bathroom to check out the free products! Who’s with me?
Now, I’m not gonna lie, I do love a free hotel product… well anything free for that matter. It’s expensive to live in this world, so whatever I can get for free, you can bet imma gonna take it and be completely unapologetic about it. I guess if I really think about it, I’m sure the cost of my room probably pays for all the “free” items and them some, but let’s not dwell on that too much.
Over the years, I’ve switched out the free products for my favourite beauty brands, and as a result, the toiletries provided always go untouched. BUT and this is a big but, I do make a point to always collect them from my stays. Why? Because it’s amazing how much they can help someone else.
What many of us don’t realise is that the majority of these unused toiletries aren’t left for the next lot of guests, but thrown into rubbish bags and sent off to landfill sites. This isn’t just damaging to the environment but a social disaster given that so many individuals and families around the world are going without proper sanitation.
And when you’ve been sleeping on the streets, public transport, or even coach surfing, the chance to take a shower or brush your teeth can be a luxury. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I get home from a long day of work or leisure, all I want to do is have a nice hot shower and lather my hair in my favourite tea tree shampoo.
To give a person in need a clean start with toiletries such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, a new toothbrush and toothpaste, can in some cases be like giving them a million dollars.
So after I’ve been on a few trips and have assembled a small bag full of products, I like to take it down to my local shelter and donate them. When it comes to women’s shelters, the majority of women often arrive at night, with children, and haven’t had adequate time to pack a bag or to grab the basics with them like a toothbrush. And for homeless shelters, well that’s pretty self explanatory.
Majority of shelters rely heavily on the generosity of the public to run, so even a small donation of toiletries can make a huge impact. By having these items on hand, they’re able to provide those seeking assistance with some necessities they may need, helping to make their stay a little more comfortable.
For me, it’s a little extra weight that I carry in my bag on my trips home, but it’s absolutely worth it when I think about all the people these items go to help.