Heart of Travel - Help me continue my mom Joyce's journey and connect those with cancer

Congratulations! This Entry has been selected as a winner.

Heart of Travel - Help me continue my mom Joyce's journey and connect those with cancer

United States
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

During her final years, my mom Joyce saved up enough frequent flyer miles and points for her dream trip to Australia. Unfortunately, she faced a sudden and brief bout with cancer before she could go. The Heart of Travel Foundation (www.heartoftravel.org) will continue Joyce’s journey and ensure other cancer patients/survivors get the chance to make their dream trips possible. As part of their travel experience, participants will interact with locals impacted by cancer, exchange ideas, raise cancer awareness, and participate in local events. In addition, this model enables them to spend invaluable time with a family member or guest to enjoy the local culture and sites. Our website will have specific pages to detail each trip, anticipated costs, and resources needed, and we will seek mileage/point donor programs with major airlines and hotel groups, many of which advertise in Condé Nast Traveler. Participants can share their favorite pictures, experiences, and takeaways via their web pages so that donors and partners see firsthand the impact of their contributions and the imprint on a person’s life and legacy. Global citizenship is about making people and places better, and the Heart of Travel  Foundation hopes to achieve that goal one moment, one mile at a time.

About You
Visit website
Location
Project Street Address

415 Graham Drive

Project City

Clearwater

Project Province/State

FL

Project Postal/Zip Code

33765

Project Country

, CA

Innovation
Are you a traveler or a travel company?

Traveler , Travel company.

Tell us your idea. What makes your idea innovative?

During her final years, my mom Joyce saved up enough frequent flyer miles and points for her dream trip to Australia. Unfortunately, she faced a sudden and brief bout with cancer before she could go. The Heart of Travel Foundation will continue Joyce’s journey and ensure other cancer patients/survivors get the chance to make their dream trips possible. As part of their travel experience, participants will interact with locals impacted by cancer, exchange ideas, raise cancer awareness, and participate in local events. In addition, this model enables them to spend invaluable time with a family member or guest to enjoy the local culture and sites. Our website will have specific pages to detail each trip, anticipated costs, and resources needed, and we will seek mileage/point donor programs with major airlines and hotel groups, many of which advertise in Condé Nast Traveler. Participants can share their favorite pictures, experiences, and takeaways via their web pages so that donors and partners see firsthand the impact of their contributions and the imprint on a person’s life and legacy. Global citizenship is about making people and places better, and the Heart of Travel Foundation hopes to achieve that goal one moment, one mile at a time.

Impact
What is the likely impact of your idea?

Participants will have opportunities to share their stories with others across the globe and vice versa. There are the cross-cultural components of learning other practices, languages, and philosophies. Trips may provide therapeutic benefits for those who may be battling a terminal illness or provide a time and place to reconcile a relationship or unresolved issues. Our selection process will take into account the individual’s overall health and ability to travel. The Heart of Travel Foundation will seek a broader impact through partnerships with cancer groups, find-a-cure fundraisers, and other causes to promote global citizenship and individual success stories. This is not just a “send someone on a fun trip” idea. Most of us have family or friends with cancer and have witnessed the drive and determination it can create in them. We will seek and select those “change agents,” who want to use their own struggles with cancer to benefit and impact others. Consequently, we envision our impact broadening over time beyond those we send on these interactive journeys. Sure, there will be personal milestones along the way, yet we are most interested in impacting the broader local and international communities.

What would it take to launch or spread your idea?

We need approximately $50,000 to launch, with 80% allocated towards initial trips and 20% for business development and fundraising. Condé Nast Traveler is the perfect partner, as our foundation will need partnerships with travel agencies, customer loyalty programs, and private investors. In fact, several individuals through this contest have offered miles for our cause. This experience and exposure could establish the foundation and accelerate our initial growth. We will fund the primary travel costs via donations from individuals and travel-related companies in the form of miles, hotel points, or financial contributions. We will encourage those taking trips and their families to participate locally and overseas. Perhaps, they have a bake sale, seek donations at work, or initiate a charity event. People impacted by cancer often want to be involved in a cause like ours, and they will be instrumental in spreading our idea and message. Within 5-7 years, we hope to be firmly established as the premier trip-granting foundation.

Sustainability
Describe yourself as a social innovator.

Both my undergraduate and graduate degrees are in international business, and I have worked on several projects to promote social responsibility, from organizing a benefit concert and local charity events to completing academic research on the events of 9/11. I have the cultural curiosity and feeling of social responsibility that comes from living and traveling abroad and do my part to minimize my environmental impact when I travel. When globetrotting for good, it’s important to leave an imprint not a footprint. Before a great white shark diving expedition in Australia, for example, I selected an operator that was focused on shark research, feeding practices, and species conservation. In fact, it was that 2007 trip down under using my mom’s miles which inspired me to start the Miles of Miracles Foundation to continue her journey and legacy. Unfortunately, it took the loss of my mom and her miles to send me on my ultimate adventure. Now, it's time for me to pay it forward and onward by launching a foundation for others, who still have the chance.