The TreadRight Foundation, The Travel Corporation's (TTC) not-for-profit, has announced the recipients of its third annual Tread the Pledge Fund.
The fund was created in 2019 to support the involvement of TTC’s family of Travel Directors in community projects worldwide and has awarded grants to four projects each year for the past two years.
New this year are two additional awards, making it clear that the critical and increasing need for funding by local organizations, which have been particularly strained throughout the pandemic, has not been reduced.
In December 2021, Travel Directors, Trip Managers, Cruise Managers and Guides/Driver Guides representing Contiki, Trafalgar, Costsaver, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and AAT Kings were asked to nominate projects they are personally involved in for the award.
The TTC's family of Travel Directors are integral to its mission to MAKE TRAVEL MATTER, the company says.
"Not only do they bring the trips of TTC’s 40 award-winning brands to life, but they are also vital in sharing the stories of TreadRight Foundation projects and TTC’s sustainability initiatives with its guests," the TTC says.
Throughout the pandemic, TreadRight has continued to support its sustainable travel projects, categorized in its three pillars of Planet, People and Wildlife, and has funded 60-plus initiatives worldwide to date.
“Our Travel Directors are global citizens and their passion for giving back is confirmed each year when we open the Tread the Pledge Fund nomination process,” said Gavin Tollman, CEO of The Travel Corporation. “We’re honoured to be able to recognize their efforts and support the projects close to their hearts. As we prepare to welcome back more of our TTC guests in 2022, TreadRight and TTC’s shared ethos to MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® resonates more than ever within our teams and for our clients. I firmly believe every contribution counts."
The six selected organizations are spread out globally and will each be awarded a micro-grant to support their efforts:
1. Fundraiser for Caritas Polska in Poland, by Tim Pendlebury of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold. Residing in Poland and having met a Ukrainian family in recent years, Tim sprang into action when Ukrainians began fleeing their country. He helped facilitate safe passage across the Polish border for that same family and has been travelling back and forth to help in any way he’s able. His fundraiser for Caritas Polska is supporting their mission to provide immediate assistance to Ukrainian women, children and elderly fleeing Ukraine.
2. The Smiley Reilly Project in Australia, nominated by Sabrina Tsimondis of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. This Queensland based non-profit is dedicated to supporting families after the devastating loss of a child, with a mission to provide positive experiences to help them navigate their new path in life, and a chance to connect with other bereaved families. Raquel and Jonathan Hall, both former Travel Directors with TTC, founded the Smiley Reilly Project after losing their beautiful 6-month baby boy, Reilly, to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
3. Chosen Organization in South Africa, nominated by Nathi Gayiya Henry of Trafalgar and Costsaver. Chosen Organisation’s mission is to support children in impoverished communities of South Africa, a critical issue that has been further exacerbated by the pandemic, through youth development, mentorship and meal programs.
4. The Sam West Foundation in the United Kingdom, nominated by Gigi Bromage of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold. The Sam West Foundation’s objective is to promote awareness, diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues affecting children and young adults, and their families. The Foundation was created in the name of Sam West by his parents Chris and Michelle after Sam tragically took his own life, just four months after his treatment for clinical depression began at age 15. Now, the foundation is providing resources to address the significant rise of depression, anxiety and suicide among youth.
5. Expand the Canon in the United States, nominated by Olivia Williamson of Contiki. Expand the Canon is advocating for gender representation in theatre through its curated list of classic plays written by women and underrepresented genders, with a call to action to produce them. The organization aims to challenge the status quo which prioritizes the male lens and point of view culturally, and to redefine theatre’s values and shift culture.
6. Orangutan Foundation International Australia (OFIA), nominated by Kelvin Marshall of AAT Kings/Down Under Tours. Supporting orangutan and forest conservation, OFIA cares for more than 300 orphaned and displaced orangutans. In addition, it facilitates their rehabilitation while working to secure a protected forest habitat, which will be vital to their future release into the wild and their survival.
For more info and to learn more about these projects, visit TreadRight.org.