At MyIntent, we love giving back to the community and we LOVE sharing stories of you giving back to communities! The Rustic Pathways Foundation used MyIntent as a fundraising tool to help raise thousands of dollars for communities all across the globe! They are a tremendously inspirational company, creating a better world and empowering students along the way! We had the chance to hear how they use MyIntent as a fundraising tool world wide:
What is Rustic Pathways?
Rustic Pathways is the leader in providing superior quality international community service, education, and adventure programs for students. We offer one to three- week spring break and summer experiences, Gap Year programs, and custom group trips in 18 different countries. Each program is carefully designed to help students make meaning of their travel experiences, identify interests and passions, gain confidence, and grow as individuals. Across the globe, we employ local staff and foster lasting relationships with the communities in which we work, enabling our students to have immersive and authentic travel and service experiences.
How did you come across the MyIntent Maker Kit?
The director of the Rustic Pathways Foundation, Andrea Bouch, was traveling in Fiji last summer and saw another traveler wearing a MyIntent bracelet that said stamped with the word "Movements". She asked about the bracelet and its meaning and was delighted to learn about MyIntent's vision of creating meaningful conversation and positive impact - an ethos that Rustic Pathways shares! While in Fiji, Andrea asked students on Rustic programs what they thought of the bracelets and one student suggested that Rustic could sell them in each country as a way to raise funds for projects (schools, aqueducts, and other high-impact initiatives) the Rustic Pathways Foundation supports.
How has MyIntent been able to serve Rustic Pathways in communicating your vision and purpose to the community?
At Rustic Pathways, we're working to create a world where all people are connected through a shared humanity and all decisions are made with a global perspective. There is a ton of intentionality in our work as we strive to empower the next generation of changemakers and create meaningful connection between young travelers and communities around the world. Our programs emphasize responsible travel and positive impact - 70% of our programs include community service and we have a nonprofit branch that supports local development projects year round. MyIntent has been a great way for us to continue this message of community and impact, while also supporting important projects in each country.
Can you explain how you have used MyIntent pieces as a fundraising tool? What has been the impact of this initiative?
In each country around the world, the Rustic Pathways student teams choose a special WORD to adorn their MyIntent bracelets with. The WORD is something unique and personal to each country and community, and the teams feel connected to the message in a very special way.
For example in Fiji the bracelets say "BULA" - which is a Fijian word meaning everything from "hello" to "life" and is at the core of the Fijian identity. Over the past 12 months Rustic travelers have purchased +1,500 MyIntent bracelets! The proceeds from these bracelets go directly towards community projects in the country where that student traveled. In the Dominican Republic bracelet sales brought in enough funding for us to build an entire house!
Image by @kristenwkristen
Share the story behind the current WORDs in different regions where Rustic Pathways is fundraising.
BULA: In Fiji Bula is everything. The literal translation is “life”, but Bula is commonly used as a greeting, a way to wish others well, to convey love, and is a symbol of the Fijian way of life.
PURA VIDA: Pura Vida is a way of life in Costa Rica. The saying literally translates to “pure life” or “simple life” but Costa Ricans use it regularly to encapsulate the culture of Costa Rica.
KLK: The Dominican Republic uses a ton of Spanish slang, but by far the most common one is “que lo que” (KLK for short) which is used as the primary greeting in the DR.
SOK SABAY: In Cambodia this expression is used to greet people, but the literal translation means Peace and Happiness.
AYNI: In Quechua (the indigenous language of the South American mountains), Ayni is powerful word meaning “reciprocity” or “giving back”. It is one of 5 principles that define the Andean way of life.
Image by @hmraley
Would you recommend others to use a MyIntent Maker Kit as a way to fundraise? Why?
MyIntent has been a great way for the Rustic Foundation to fundraise and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an engaging, meaningful way to share a message. At an organizational level we’ve had a lot of success selling the bracelets in each country. We have also seen some Impact Ambassadors (Rustic alumni who raise awareness and funds for a Foundation project) make their own MyIntent bracelets as a fundraising strategy as well.