When former marketing executive Andrew Simpson found himself traveling in Rwanda several years ago, he stopped by an orphanage for children of the genocide and asked the kids to tell him one thing that would make their lives better. Their answer: a soccer ball.

And so the concept of AngelMule was born.

AngelMule is an online network that enables regular travelers to spend a portion of their vacations delivering much-needed goods to impoverished communities, in exchange for authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences. Current proposals include an Ecuadoran environmental nonprofit’s plea for water-resistant tents (in exchange for a horseback tour of San Cristobal), a Ugandan literacy program’s request for school supplies (in exchange for a meal) and a Balinese dog refuge’s appeal for distemper kits (in exchange for puppy petting).

It’s up to you, the traveler, to set up a time to deliver the goods and to use common sense in regards to safety, but AngelMule thoroughly vets all nonprofits and allows you to connect via secure messaging. Plus, you can always click to learn more about the charity you’re supporting.

Particularly for people who already have a trip planned to a developing country, this seems like a great opportunity to do some good.

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