SGT and the Global Community

Special Group Tours is dedicated to our global community. It is important to us to share the joys of travel, the cultural exchange, learning from each other and making a better world for all of us – in the local regions we visit on tour and the home areas of our travelers. SGT donates a portion of each booking to one of these worthy charitable organizations. We thank you for your assistance and support!

Philabundance

Philabundance was created in 1984 with the simple belief that no man, woman or child should go hungry. Our growth and eventual integration with the Philadelphia Food Bank in 2005 has made us the region’s largest hunger relief organization. We are now able to address hunger through direct service programs and a network of 400 member agencies, as well as contribute to a broad spectrum of social services through food cupboards, emergency kitchens, shelters, daycare and senior centers and beyond.

FIMRC -- Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children

FIMRC is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of families in the developing world through the implementation of innovative and self-sustainable health improvement programs.  Through its network of outpatient clinics and partnerships, FIMRC asserts a multidimensional strategy that includes clinical services, extensive community outreach efforts and health education programs.

North Light Community Center, Philadelphia

North Light Community Center is a place where… children come to learn and play…where their parents come for advice and assistance. Where neighbors meet… to discuss community issues… and new solutions are forged. North Light is a place filled with joy, energy, action and commitment.

Our Mission is to enable people of all ages and abilities in our communities, especially those most in need, to reach their full potential as productive and responsible citizens through initiatives that support and enrich children, teens, and families.

Our vision is to support and strengthen our diverse neighborhoods by meeting the evolving needs of individuals and families. We work to develop the whole person from educating to providing sustenance, and thus, cultivate a vibrant community.

UNICEF -- Children's Rights and Emergency Relief Organization

UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality.  That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.

We believe that nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress.  UNICEF was created with this purpose in mind – to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path.  We believe that we can, together, advance the cause of humanity. We advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future. We promote girls’ education – ensuring that they complete primary education as a minimum – because it benefits all children, both girls and boys. Girls who are educated grow up to become better thinkers, better citizens, and better parents to their own children. We act so that all children are immunized against common childhood diseases, and are well nourished, because it is wrong for a child to suffer or die from a preventable illness.

Stax/Soulsville Foundation

The Soulsville Foundation was created in Memphis, Tennessee, in the late 1990s by a group of concerned local business leaders, philanthropists, and former employees of Stax Records to ensure that the rich legacy of the Soulsville, USA community – which had been home to Stax in the 1960s and ’70s, but which had fallen into a devastating state of blight and decay – would not be lost to history. The Soulsville Foundation funds and operates three subsidiary organizations on its campus at the original site of Stax Records:

The Soulsville Charter School (TSCS) is a tuition-free public charter school whose mission is to prepare students for success in college and life in an academically rigorous, music-rich environment. TSCS began with 60 students in sixth grade in 2005 and has since grown to serve approximately 650 students in grades six through twelve. At the core of TSCS’s college preparatory curriculum is an emphasis on great teaching and learning as achieved through standards-based and data-driven instruction in core academic areas. The goal is to make sure that every component of every program pushes students toward college and varied life opportunities.

Stax Music Academy is a unique learning center that inspires young people and enhances their academic, cognitive, performance, and leadership skills by utilizing music with a strong focus on the rich legacy and tradition of Stax Records.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the world’s first and only full-fledged soul music museum, opened its doors to much international and much-anticipated claim in 2003 and welcomes thousands annually.

 

Otis Redding Foundation

The Otis Redding Foundation’s mission is to empower, enrich, and motivate all young people through programs involving music, writing and instrumentation. Established in 2007 by Mrs. Zelma Redding in her husband’s honor, each partnership and program supports the philanthropic commitment to empower and enlighten all young people to fulfill their dreams. Otis Redding Foundation, with its roots in music, has created educational awareness programs in the arts and humanities. These programs encourage individual and team participation, build self-esteem and instill discipline.

Otis Redding was dedicated to improving the quality of life for our community through the education and empowerment of its youth. To honor Otis’ dream, the Otis Redding Foundation provides opportunities for youth to improve their academic performance by helping them make choices in life that enrich rather than endanger. By providing programs that ignite dreams in our future generation of leaders, we remain dedicated to connecting the universal relevance of music to serve as a catalyst for education and other youth oriented initiatives.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

In 1995, Dolly Parton created the Imagination Library to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to over 60,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and across the proverbial pond into the United Kingdom! Currently over 1600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to over 750,000 children each and every month. Already statistics and independent reports have shown Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy for children enrolled in the program. Further studies have shown improved scores during early literacy testing.

Kenya Children's Home

Kenya Children’s Home (KCH) was established in 1961 as the Thomas Barnardo House in Nairobi. The children’s home is the flagship project of KCH and is home to up to 200 orphaned, destitute and abandoned babies and children at any one time.

Management was taken over by Balcraig Foundation in 2002. Since its inception, KCH has grown significantly, extending its support far beyond the reach of the children’s home in Nairobi, with the commencement and development of many other community projects throughout Kenya. Through Kenya Children’s Home and associated projects, around 1700 children are assisted in Kenya every year. KCH has a committed team of 200 Kenyan staff including teachers, house mothers, management and social workers, all of whom have the single goal of providing the best care, protection and education to the children we help.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights. Our vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion, and are funded mainly by our membership and public donations.

 After more than 50 years of groundbreaking achievements, Amnesty International is now embarking on a major process of evolution, to adapt to the dramatic changes in the world we operate in, and to increase the impact of our human rights work.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. Today, Habitat for Humanity is a true world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing. The concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian community outside of Americus, Georgia. The Fullers first visited Koinonia in 1965, where they developed the concept of “partnership housing” centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses. In 1984, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn took their first Habitat work trip and their personal involvement in Habitat brought the organization national visibility and sparked interest in Habitat’s work across the nation. Through the work of Habitat, thousands of low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing. Churches, community groups and others have joined together to successfully tackle a significant social problem―decent housing for all. Thus far, Habitat has helped build or repair more than 800,000 houses and served more than 4 million people around the world.

UNHCR -- United Nations Refugee Agency

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.