Giving Back: Global Partnerships' Business of Hope Luncheon

Leslie Holgate

Giving Back: Global Partnerships' Business of Hope Luncheon

Leslie Holgate

Dec 2010

People inspired. Lives changed.

Each year, we help travelers explore captivating destinations throughout Central and South America—Peru’s Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Amazon rainforest, just to name a few. Our passion for Latin America, therefore, was naturally one of the inspirations behind this year’s company volunteer event: Global Partnerships’ Eighth Annual Business of Hope Luncheon.

Global Partnerships expands opportunity for people living in poverty by supporting microfinance and other sustainable solutions in Latin America. Currently, Global Partnerships serves more than 844,000 borrowers through their 24 microfinance partner institutions in seven Latin American countries.

Chris Megargee of Global Partnerships explained, “This year’s Business of Hope Luncheon was our most successful ever in the eight years we’ve hosted the gathering—raising over $930,000 for our sustainable solutions to poverty. The program highlighted Global Partnerships’ commitment to supporting programs in Latin America which provide microfinance combined with other valuable services like healthcare, agricultural assistance and business training. This bundled approach means that the people we serve are given multiple tools and a stronger foundation for progressing out of poverty.”

Our staff at ExpeditionTrips, along with other local volunteers, worked as ushers, registration table support, and helped prepare the Seattle Westin Grand Ballroom for 950 luncheon attendees. As attendees ourselves at the ExpeditionTrips’ sponsored table, we were moved by how microfinance impacts individuals throughout Latin America, including a Global Partnerships’ video (see below) demonstrating the results of microloans. The Master of Ceremonies, Margaret Larson, and Board Member Eddie Poplawski shared their experiences. And, we heard inspirational speeches from former Gates Foundation CEO Patty Stonesifer and microfinance borrower Edelma Altamirano from Nicaragua.

Edelma is a prime example of the tremendous impact of Global Partnerships’ work. She built a clothing resale business with the support of microloans from a Global Partnerships’ partner called Pro Mujer. Pro Mujer integrates microcredit with health services, which Edelma said was a combination that saved her life. Through support of the program, she received a health screening that detected the early stages of cervical cancer and was able to receive the necessary surgery. Today, her cancer is in remission, and she is financially independent and a leader of women in her community.

Megargee went on to say, “The annual luncheon is the key means by which we introduce newcomers to our work, and the event wouldn’t be as successful without the help of volunteers like the generous team from ExpeditionTrips who helped us set up and welcome our guests that day.”

To learn more about the work of Global Partnerships and their annual luncheon, please visit www.globalpartnerships.org