One of the great things about being in the travel industry and having my own agency is that I combine my passions and do the things I enjoy in life. One of the near and dear things to my heart is giving back to others in and outside of my community. If you visit our webpage, you will see there are several donations and conservation efforts that the agency participates in.
Over the weekend, I had an exceptional opportunity to give back in a fun and unique way thanks to my travel industry connections. My Aussie mate, Melissa Watt, from Travel2 invited me to her Zumba studio BellaVita and the event they were running to help Haiti after Hurricane Matthew’s devastating effects.
My daughter and I, who also participated with me in the event, were more than eager to help as we were much luckier on the other side of the island than Haiti’s poor people. During Matthew’s rage, we arrived in Punta Cana, located in the Dominican Republic. For those who don’t know, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are two countries on one island in the Caribbean. As Matthew approached, we were lucky that its course had shifted, but it did not shift quite far enough to miss the island altogether. While the sun came out for us and we had little to no signs of the storm ever being near, Haiti was not so lucky. The country continues to add to its death toll from mother nature’s beating. I believe upon the last check before writing this; there were now 1000 people dead. What is even worse now for people is the fear of a cholera outbreak due to poor water conditions.
To help with Haiti’s conditions, BellaVita came up with the idea to provide a free Zumba class for patrons and new guests to enjoy an hour of exercise and fun. The event asked for donations in any size to be given and would go to Haiti’s relief efforts. The particular funds from this event went to Hope for Haiti. As a bonus, for each $10 donation made, participants were entered into a raffle for a free massage.
While my daughter and I did not win the massage, we got a great sweat dancing Zumba style to tunes inspired by Haiti. What a great opportunity and setting for me to combine my fitness, travel, and giving passions. There are so many opportunities for us to do our part, and it doesn’t have to be taxing. In a world that seems upside down these days, I encourage you to make your positive mark on life.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”