VolunTourism – Catching On

04.13.2010 · bsluben

VolunTourism – combining traditional travel with volunteer work – is a rapidly growing trend. Last year, one-quarter of the travelers queried in the Voice of the Traveler survey by the Travel Industry Association said they were currently interested in taking a volunteer or service-based vacation. Baby Boomers formed the group expressing the strongest interest, and the largest share (47 percent) of those interested in taking a volunteer vacation fell into the 35-54 year-old range.

If you decide you’d rather be an armchair traveler, most of these organizations have a link where you can donate money to support volunteer projects

Positive Impact: Pepsi Refresh Project

04.07.2010 · bsluben

Pepsi is up to alot of good these days.

The evolution of relaxation – Florida Vacation Style

04.02.2010 · bsluben

Ahhh. Vacation down on Florida’s panhandle. Places like Destin, Seaside, Seacrest, Rosemary Beach and St George Island conjure up images of powdery white sand, aqua water, cool breezes, cold drinks and a break from reality. From Atlanta, these locations are a mere 6 hour drive. It’s a simple drive to make…that is once you finally escape the madness of Atlanta’s rush hour traffic.

Many families and vacationers will relate to the experience I had last year heading to Seacrest, a small gulf community nestled between Panama City to the East and Destin to the West. The journey started with a horrendous drive on the infamous 285 (perimeter as us Atlantans like to call it) into the very teeth of rush hour. After a slow crawl at best, it was off on a surface street in bumper to bumper fashion as we meandered our way over to the Cobb Galleria area in NW Atlanta. Then back to 285 to bypass the gridlocked downtown Atlanta traffic. The speed limit 65 mph mocking us as we crept along at a tortoise like 30 mph. Finally, we make it to I-85 and point the car south toward Florida.

More delays, too many drivers, not fast enough, minutes feeling like hours. After 90 minutes, we’re just south of the airport. Not much progress. Stress is at a pinnacle. Desire to maim other drivers is off the charts.

And then serenity. As Newnan slips by, Columbus is conquered and the enchanting town of Eufala Al beckons. On past Dothan, into Florida, off I-10, meandered through dusty dots on the map with nothing more than fruit stands as their calling card…and finally the Gulf is in sight. The windows are down all the way, the music is flowing along the wind current and the sense that FINALLY relaxation is near overcomes me.

Anticipation builds, pulse quickens, feet start tapping and then the fabled beach house is in sight. Home for the next 160 hours…no finer sight is sweeter! Visit Geronimo.com to rent this house in Seacrest and help support the charity of your choice!

Without PTA’s, schools would be falling down

03.31.2010 · bsluben

The role that PTA’s play in fundraising for their schools can never be understated. Today, that role is not only necessary but critical to the success of public schools throughout the country.

Consider that the three largest counties in metro Atlanta (DeKalb, Fulton and Cobb) are all running a $100+ million education deficit. Critical programs like afterschool, pre-K, phys-ed (PHYS-ED!!?) and other accelerated learning initiatives are being slashed.

In steps the support of communities, concerned citizens and parents in the form of the PTA. In the case of Ashford Park Elementary School in North Atlanta (Brookhaven), the annual operating budget had been reduced to $14,000 by the county/state (that would include budget allotment for pencils, paper, copiers, etc… – pretty paltry). Further consider that there is no immediate correction coming in the reduced budget offerings to Ashford Park and schools like it (country property tax value fell $1 billion last year.)

Most PTA’s that are active can and do raise significant $’s for their schools through fundraising initiatives. Gone are the days of pushing little foot soldiers out the door to peddle cookies and cards. In is a sophisticated approach to fundraisng where many outside entities are helping PTA’s create fundraising programs…and in some cases managing altogether. At Geronimo, our mission is to help non-profits unlock donations from vacation rentals. We host and promote listings and coordinate payments. This is accomplished by creating private websites for PTA’s to gather listings from local property owners and to direct supporters to search on for their vacation needs. PTA’s pay nothing and there is no risk. The evolution of fundraising for schools is here.