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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Virtual Passport Party: La Fin de Phase I

11 year old Delaney is on her way to her very first passport!
Virtual Passport Party participant

This is it, folks. This is la fin de Phase I of The Passport Party Project's first 18 months of empowering tw/een girls.  The end of another beginning.  100 girls have (or are waiting for) their very first passports.  18 months went by in a blur.  The world - as  they say - is now officially their oyster.

The final Passport Party was to have gone down in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Oakland, to be exact. (I thought it would be cool to finish where I started.)  But since things don't always go as planned, I decided to host the last party virtually so that girls from all over the nation might have a chance to get in on the passport love one last time before Phase II gets underway in 2014.

Mari's super cute passport photo!
Virtual Passport Party participant

This Virtual Passport Party didn't just put ten girls on the road to Passport-dom as the other parties did, but was also an opportunity for me to fill in the gaps.  In Austin, for example, one family was unable to follow through with the process; in Miami, eight out of ten parents followed through; in New York, six; etc.  I even had to ask that money orders be returned (I hated that part), but - as fun as this has been - business is business.  There are 16 girls participating in The Virtual Passport Party.

11 year old Amaya is cheesin' for her new passport!
Virtual Passport Party participant
The lovely 14 year old Shannon
Virtual Passport Party participant
11 year old Indigo was the 100th girl!
Virtual Passport Party
Soleil is on her way to Passport-dom too!
Virtual Passport Party

11 year old Hadassah at a Los Angeles post office taking care of passport business!
Virtual Passport Party

Ceyionnie is another 1 of 16 100 girls on her way to her first passport!
Virtual Passport Party
And as is done at every Passport Party, each Virtual Passport Party participant will receive a little package of travel gifts - one of which is a UNICEF journal; the purchase of which provides Oral Rehydration Salts to protect twelve children from dehydration.  And on May 5, 2013, I'm going to draw names (while I'm in Brazil) and some lucky Virtual Passport Party participants will win prizes from The Passport Party Project's generous sponsors: 

An EXO Spinner from The eBags Brand

A handmade map necklace from Paper and Place with a map of the destination of her dreams...

Board games from Around the World Games

The Bamboo Dance from Hartlyn Kids (which the winner will be asked to read to a younger girl in the spirit of sharing cultural information)

A super cute passport cover from Tepper Jackson  

Ooooh.  *Clapping and jumping up and down*  I love giving stuff away.  I'll be posting the winners' names here and also on Facebook.  

Welp.  The next thing on my agenda is to get the logistics together for the Belize trip.  In fact, I think I'm pretty close to picking our hotel.  I have already selected the judges and the contest particulars will be announced the week of May 6, which means that 6 girls out of 100 will be on their way to Belize with me this July.  

My guess is that I'll shed a few tears when it's all said and done, but trust me when I tell you that this is only the beginning.  *Wink*