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“Travelocity’s Travel For Good” Tweet Sends Pauline Lewis To Ethiopia

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Southeast Portland’s Pauline Lewis has tweeted her way to Ethiopia.

It’s not a pleasure trip. Lewis, 44, chief brand officer for Portland’s UpRaise Consulting, is one of three big winners in Travelocity’s Travel for Good contest this month. She will travel to Ethiopia late this year or early next year to volunteer with the Selamta Family Project, which helps establish families from marginalized Ethiopian women and orphans or abandoned children.

“Working with nonprofits has been a lifelong passion of mine,” Lewis said in a Travelocity announcement of her award. “I can’t wait to immerse myself by meeting the families, learning from them and working to bring back individual stories so that people in the U.S. can feel as connected to Selamta families as I do.”

Lewis was chosen Oct. 15 by Travelocity as a Dream Voluntourism Trip Winner from among thousands of Twitter and Tumblr entries for her passion to help those in need across the globe, according to the Dallas, Texas, company. “We continue to be inspired by the incredible submissions to the Travel for Good program,” said Ashley Parker, senior brand manager and head of the Travel for Good program. “Pauline’s love for helping orphaned children in need is an inspiration to us all and we are thrilled to assist in making her ‘voluntourism’ dream possible.”

Travel for Good is Travelocity’s contest to send people on all-expense-paid trips to volunteer for causes around the world. The online travel planning company’s contest was held annually for several years, then went on hiatus until it was restarted this year.

In addition to her paid trip to Ethiopia, Lewis’ Sept. 30 tweet also earned the Selamta Family Project of Lake Placid, Fla., a $10,000 donation from Travelocity. Marisa Stam, Selamta Family Project executive director, said the donation would be “an extraordinary boost for our program.” The money will cover costs for two Selamta family homes for a year, she said.

“That means two families, each including eight to 10 orphaned children, a mother and a supportive auntie, will receive everything they need to make their house a home concerning rent, utilities, food and household maintenance,” Stam said.