The Fundraising Dilemma

Smiles & Miles consider ourselves privileged to be able to roam the world as we do. We are fortunate to have a roof over our heads, healthy sustenance, endless learning opportunities, and a chance to do work that we enjoy. We have the resources and time to do some truly amazing things, albeit with lots of work and several compromises along the way.

Over the years, we’ve seen individuals asking for money from others to pay the costs of their personal travel. One particular example featured a donation jar at the till of several local stores to fund an individual’s trip to South America – with no supporting information to state any reason why this person could not just save up and go. We can understand fundraising to assist individuals in taking advantage of unique opportunities which they have worked hard to earn but can’t manage financially.  ie. Scouts raising money to enable a trip to a faraway jamboree. What is confusing is that more and more we are seeing firsthand how some individuals are giving the impression of raising funds for a charity, when in reality they are spending the money raised (or some portion of it) to fund personal expenses. We understand that the fundraising itself incurs costs that need to be paid, but when a traveler undertakes a trip primarily for their own personal benefit, we’d prefer that they funded this in some other way, without blurring the view of where donors’ funds are actually going. These past experiences created a great deal of discomfort for us when we decided to participate in an adventure with a charity fundraising component. We do not want to leave anyone with the impression that we are raising money to fund our personal adventure.

We chose to take part in the Rickshaw Run because it seemed like a great opportunity to do something we’ve dreamed of – driving across India in an auto rickshaw.  What an amazing way to see a fascinating country! We’re pleased that The Adventurists have created this unique opportunity.  We’re also pleased that, like us, they quite like the world, adventuring in it, and giving something back. In fact, their efforts have contributed to raising over £5 million for charity.

Similarly, we’ve seen fellow travelers using the attention that they’ve drawn to their adventurous undertakings to cast attention on worthwhile causes. Some of them have raised significant funds which have been put to great use.  We applaud them.

Smiles & Miles contribute to our local and global communities in a number of ways and are in the fortunate position that we can afford to provide the minimum fundraising component for the Rickshaw Run without the need for fundraising from others.  But leaving it at that seemed like a missed opportunity.  And so . . . We’re taking advantage of the interest surrounding our upcoming adventure to draw some attention to a couple of causes that we support:

FreetheChildren_1230pxA Canadian charity and educational partner, working both domestically and internationally to empower and enable youth to be agents of change.



Cool Earth1230pxA UK charity working alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction.



We’re thrilled to report that our efforts to-date have raised over CDN$6,000 for these two worthwhile causes.  A huge thank you to our donors for your generosity and support. If you’re interested in joining in our efforts, please visit the links above to learn more about each charity and how you can contribute directly to them.

We are also pleased to let you know that our Rickshaw Run teammate, Richard Desilets, is using this opportunity to draw attention to his chosen cause, The Calgary Poppy Fund & Veterans Food Bank.

Calgary Poppy Fund

We encourage you to learn more about this organization and to contribute to their valuable efforts on Richard’s behalf.


With generosity of spirit,

Tracey & Miles

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