Canadian Travel Agents Raise Money to Provide Clean Water for the Bahamas

by Jessica Montevago
Canadian Travel Agents Raise Money to Provide Clean Water for the Bahamas

From left: Pat Probert, Karen Gill, Steve Gill, Ian Elliott and Marie Odorizzi. 

Travel Agents Care, an organization founded by five Canadian travel agents in 2017 to help Dominica after it was devastated by a hurricane, are raising funds to deliver kits to the Bahamas to convert water into safe drinking water.

The group is now inviting the industry to help raise funds to provide clean drinking water kits for families in the Bahamas.

It is partnering with Global Medic, an Etobicoke, Ontario-based organization that provides emergency relief to those affected by natural disasters and complex emergencies, to raise funds to assist them with relief to the area. 

Travel Agents Care set an initial target of $5,000, which would result in 100 water filtration kits, although they are hoping to reach $10,000 for 200 water filtration kits. These kits are used in local hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, schools, family homes, and temporary living camps.

According to Gill, $50 provides a family of five with clean water for up to six months using kits that turn dirty water into drinking water.

“With the horrible situation in the Bahamas, we reached out to the director of Global Medic and said we can do a campaign to get more water kits to the Bahamas,” said Karen Gill, of Plan A Vacation-The Travel Agent Next Door, in St. Catharines. “The weeks after a hurricane are critical. The longer people are without clean water, the faster they will become ill and potentially die.”

In addition to Gill, the founders of Travel Agents Care include: Marie Odorizzi, of This is Travel-The Travel Agent Next Door, in Brampton; Sharon Loppie, of Time 2 Travel, Dartmouth, The Travel Agent Next Door, in Nova Scotia; Ian Elliott, of My Way Holiday, Travelonly, in Toronto; and Pat Probert, of Bob's Family Travel, Travelonly, in Toronto.

Travel industry members are encouraged to donate by liking the Travel Agents Care Facebook page, where the donation link is in a post. Or visit and click on “Donate,” which will take you to the donation portal. Agents are also welcome to get involved by assisting with loading containers to go to the islands, and helping with local initiatives.

In 2017, the group raised over $35,000 to provide clean water for families in Dominica; as well as bringing relief to communities when traveling, where members provided direct deliveries of school supplies, etc., to the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Honduras, and Puerto Rico.

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