Tread the Pledge Fund 2022

Tread the Pledge Fund 2022


Our third annual Tread the Pledge Fund continues to recognize and support the involvement of our TTC Travel Director & Trip Manager family in community projects worldwide.


Our annual Tread the Pledge Fund, in its third year, recognizes the initiatives and volunteer efforts of The Travel Corporation’s incredible Travel Directors. By awarding grants to organizations this passionate group of people are personally involved with, TreadRight says a resounding thank you to the team who makes so many incredible travel experiences matter.  

Our Tread the Pledge Fund was created in 2019 to support the passion projects of TTC’s family of Travel Directors, Trip Managers, Cruise Managers and Guides/Driver Guides, who are not only the face of our business, but help bring our trips and our mission to MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® to life.  

The timing of this fund has proven particularly critical, with charitable organizations facing one of the most challenging times in recent history. Many of them are faced with the double blow of decreased funding and donations while having more people than ever in need, both due to the global pandemic. 

The nominations for these awards come from our teams representing Contiki, Trafalgar, Costsaver, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, AAT Kings, and Down Under Tours.

The projects being awarded with the 2022 Tread the Pledge Fund are: 

The Sam West Foundation – promoting awareness, diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues affecting children, young adults, and their families in the UK 

The Smiley Reilly Project – raising awareness and providing support to bereaved families who have lost a child in Australia 

Orangutan Foundation International Australia (OFIA) – dedicated to the conservation of orangutans and their natural habitat in Indonesian Borneo 

Chosen Organisation – supporting children in impoverished communities through meal and youth development programs in South Africa 

Expand the Canon – advocating for representation in theatre through a curated list of classic plays by women and underrepresented genders, in the United States  

Caritas Polska – providing immediate assistance to Ukrainian women, children, and the elderly fleeing Ukraine 


The Sam West Foundation 

Nominated by: Gigi Bromage of Insight Vacations/Luxury Gold 

Suicide, depression and anxiety among teens has been steadily increasing and new research shows that “depression and anxiety symptoms have doubled in children and adolescents globally when compared to pre-pandemic times” (Forbes). 

The Sam West Foundation’s objective is to promote awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health issues affecting children and young adults, and their families. Its mission is to support those in need with the appropriate resources to improve their mental health and wellbeing. The foundation also aims to advance the education of teenagers in music and the arts.  

Sam West, whom the organization is named after, first started showing signs of depression and anxiety at 14. The Foundation was created in 2018 by his parents Chris and Michelle after he tragically took his own life, only four months after he began treatment for clinical depression, at the age of 15. Sam was part of a close and loving family in Kent, and was known for being gentle, kind, cheeky and quick-witted. His loving memory lives on through the incredible work of the foundation. 


The Smiley Reilly Project 

Nominated by: Sabrina Tsimondis of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises 

The Smiley Reilly Project is a Queensland based non-profit dedicated to supporting families after the devastating loss of a child. The organization’s philosophy is that a smile can be the most powerful provider of hope. Its mission is to provide fun, positive experiences to bereaved families to help them navigate their new path in life, to have a reason to smile, and to connect them with other families that can relate to their loss. In 2021, the organization was able to successfully hold all four in-person events, narrowly missing lockdowns and event restrictions.  

Raquel and Jonathan Hall, both former Travel Directors with TTC, founded the Smiley Reilly Project in 2016 after losing their beautiful six-month baby boy, Reilly, to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,) in February, 2015. Since then, they’ve been connecting with bereaved families, hosting events in southeast Queensland, and sending their Smiley Reilly packs out across Australia. 


Orangutan Foundation International Australia (OFIA) 

Nominated by: Kelvin Marshall of Down Under Tours/AAT Kings 

OFIA was established in 2013 by Founder and Director, Kobe Steele, to support and continue the orangutan and forest conservation efforts initiated by Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas and Orangutan Foundation International (OFI). Dr. Galdikas, who is Patron and a Board Member of OFI Australia, is an internationally renowned environmentalist, anthropologist, and orangutan expert. 

OFIA has two main objectives. The first to care for orphaned and displaced orangutans (currently 300+) at the OFI Care Centre & Quarantine in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. The primary cause of their displacement is the destruction of their habitat for palm oil plantations, illegal logging & mining. The OFI Care Centre gives these beautiful, gentle apes a chance for survival they otherwise would not have, providing them with food, shelter and love along with the skills they will need once they are old enough to be released back into the wild.  

The OFIA’s second objective is to secure habitat for the future release of these orangutans. In order for this to be successful, land needs to be secured to ensure they have a safe place to live. Through The Orangutan Legacy Forest project, OFI purchases and replants forest habitat which is protected from poachers, palm oil plantations, illegal loggers and miners, in Borneo. The creation of this habitat ‘sanctuary’ is vital to the orangutans’ survival. 


Chosen Organisation 

Nominated by: Nathi Gayiya of Trafalgar/Costsaver 

Chosen Organisation’s mission is to support children in need in impoverished communities of South Africa, a critical issue that has been further exacerbated by the pandemic and its side effects. 

Through its meal programs, the organization is working to ensure children do not go to bed on an empty stomach, and through its youth development program, aims to keep children off the streets by facilitating different activities for youth. In addition, Chosen Organisation allows for adult mentors to provide support and guidance to youth during these programs. With these programs, the organization is tackling the prevalent issues faced by youth in this community which also include teen pregnancy and substance abuse. 


Expand the Canon 

Nominated by Olivia Williamson of Contiki 

Expand the Canon advocates for gender representation in theatre through its ever-growing curated list of 1,200+ classic plays by women & underrepresented genders, with a call to action to produce them. The list is an annual guide that makes slotting these classic plays into a theatre’s season and classroom syllabi easy. Expand the Canon demands space in the classical canon for more diverse playwrights, many of whom were underproduced or utterly un-produced in their lifetimes. It calls upon the national and international theatre communities to expand its definition of classical theatre and include these brilliant writers and artists in their production seasons, publications, classrooms, and beyond.

The organization aims to challenge the status quo which prioritizes the male lens and point of view culturally. With the stories revered as classics being only by men, women’s perspectives will continue to be viewed as secondary. By insisting that excellent plays by a diverse group of women be regarded as classics, theatre’s values can be redefined, and by staging these stories in communities, culture can be shifted. 


Fundraiser for Caritas Polska

by Tim Pendlebury of Insight Vacations/Luxury Gold 

Tim Pendlebury, based in Poland, started with TTC in 1998 and has been a Tour Director with Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold for 17 years. A few years ago, he briefly met a Ukrainian family visiting Krakow – Natalia, Vadim and their two daughters Alina and Darya. He stayed in touch with Alina, who is now studying in Poland. 

When Ukrainians began seeking ways to leave the country in February, Tim immediately reached out to check on the family’s situation. When he learned that Natalia and Darya were on their way to the Polish border, he stepped in to assist in whatever way that he could. He drove six hours to the border where he met the pair, ensuring their safe passage to be with Alina in Poland, where they are now staying. 

Since that time, Tim has continued to travel to the border to provide support in any way possible, including through the purchase and donation of blankets to combat the winter temperatures. Now, he’s set up a fundraiser to help further. 

Tim’s support and involvement in Caritas Polska, an organization providing immediate assistance to Ukrainian women, children, and the elderly fleeing Ukraine, is seeking additional support for their efforts. TreadRight, through its Tread the Pledge grant program, is ensuring that Tim exceeds his fundraising goal.