Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Two Week No Baggage Challenge for Give Kids the World

After spending so much time and effort trying to win the SCOTTEVEST No Baggage Challenge contest to travel around the world with no luggage (and coming in as a runner-up in the contest), I've decided to go ahead and do my own No Baggage Challenge to raise money for Give Kids the World, a charity for terminally ill kids I volunteered with for 7+ years. I'm asking for friends, family, readers, and anyone else who is interested to sponsor me by donating $1 a day to Give Kids the World for every day I travel without luggage through Florida, Texas, and New York -- up to a maximum of 15 days. My trip will last from December 30th to January 13th.

If I can raise at least $100 in sponsorship, I will commit to traveling without luggage for the entire two week trip. I will also match dollar for dollar up to the first $100 pledged. I already have a friend who has committed to the first $15 (i.e., $1/day). If you'd like to sponsor me you can either send me an email with the amount you'd like to pledge or else leave your name in the comments below. Once I've finished my journey, you can donate money directly online to Give Kids the World here.

While traveling, I will document my journey with frequent photos, videos, and blog posts.


Give Kids the World is a fantastic organization that helps grant the last wish of dying children to see Mickey Mouse. Give Kids the World partners with Disney, American Airlines, and many other organizations in Orlando and around the world to provide terminally ill children and their families a free six-day, all-expenses-paid vacation to Orlando. While there, the families stay at the magical Give Kids the World Village (a very special 70-acre resort in Orlando) and the 'Wish Kids' get special badges the get to wear that gives them special treatment at all the parks in Orlando (no waiting in lines, special attention from all the Disney characters, etc.). At the Village, families continue to receive special treatment with lots of activities for the children and their families -- including giving parents a badly needed night off.

I had the privilege of volunteering at Give Kids the World on a weekly basis for 7 years while I was living in Orlando. I used to dress up like a wizard and do magic tricks for the kids, dance with them at their pool party on Monday nights, and then go around with a giant rabbit (Mayor Clayton) and tuck the children into bed. To this day, I consider my involvement with Give Kids the World to be among the best things I've ever done and I miss it dearly.

If you'd like to read more about more about Give Kids the World, be sure to check out their website. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Below is a video for a fundraiser in 2006 that gives a good overview of Give Kids the World Village and a virtual tour of this magical place:

You can also read more about the original No Baggage Challenge with Rolf Potts who traveled for six weeks around the world with no luggage and SCOTTEVEST, the clothing company that sponsored him.

If you're interested in sponsoring me as I travel for two weeks without any luggage, simply e-mail me with the amount you'd like to pledge to donate to Give Kids the World or write it in the comments below.

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