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Win a gorgeous TUMI pet carrier — and dig two water wells in Haiti

About a week ago, I posted a rapturous review of the new pet carrier from TUMI, and then left you with a mystery. Under my rules, I cannot keep products worth more than $50, and the TUMI pet carrier, at $495, is well over that limit. I either have to return the carrier to TUMI, or give it away — but I told you that I was doing neither of those things, and that you would be excited by the third alternative I’d reveal on Nov. 27.

Here it is: TUMI has generously donated the pet carrier I reviewed as a prize for Passports with Purpose, the annual travel bloggers’ fundraiser. The value of the carrier is $495, and I will ship it to the winner wherever in the world s/he lives.

Photo by TUMI

Every year a group of travel bloggers gathers together tasty prizes from kind sponsors — trips, hotel stays, luggage, etc. — for a good cause. This year, Passports with Purpose is raising funds to help dig water wells for two rural communities in Haiti, still reeling from the effects of the massive 2010 earthquake that devastated the country’s infrastructure. For every $10 you donate, you get an entry in the raffle, which you can allocate to the prize you most desire (last year, I yearned for a carry-on, and allocated all ten of my entries to winning it, but I could have bid on up to ten different prizes). All of the money raised goes to, which is coordinating digging these two wells.

The goal this year is to raise $100,000, which sounds ambitious — but in past years, PwP has raised $90K to build two libraries in Zambia (2011), $60K to build a village in India for “untouchables” (2010), and $28K to build a school in rural Cambodia (2009). In past years, Dog Jaunt has offered a car safety package for traveling dogs, and a Kimpton Hotel getaway package. I am thrilled, this year, to offer TUMI’s gorgeous Alpha pet carrier as a PwP prize.

I hope that you’ll bid on it (and you totally should — you’ll love it!) — but even if you wouldn’t be able to use this prize, you should check out the full prize list. Many of us in the U.S. have been buffeted by natural disasters — regions of the country are still recovering from this year’s tornadoes, wildfires and, of course, Hurricane Sandy — but we’ve got the powerful help of FEMA. Providing Haitians with clean, drinkable water is crucial, and we can help, for just $10 at a time. Much as I yearn to, I can’t bid on the TUMI carrier — but I will certainly be bidding on other prizes, and I urge you to join me and to spread the word to your family and friends!

Here’s what you do: Look under “Travel Gear” for the Dog Jaunt-sponsored prize from TUMI in the list of prizes, and bid on it in increments of $10 (each $10 gives you another chance to win). Donations for prize entries will be accepted through 11:59pm (EST) on December 11, and then winners will be notified on December 18. Donations that come in after December 11 will help provide water to rural Haiti, but will not earn you additional chances to win prizes.