Sheryl Hill, Founder and Executive Director

Passionate about travel, cultural diversity, peace, and safety? Is your goal to advance a global cause, serve family and friends and engage in the betterment of society? Then please, give to Depart Smart on #GivingTuesday.

Depart Smart Saves Lives

Travel is an exotic enticement in a $7.8 trillion industry with poor consumer reporting and protections.  Your gift helps Depart Smart develop tools and online courses to help you and those you care about make informed decisions, get help and return home safely to the people and places you love. Depart Smart needs your help and charitable donation to save lives and help people who study, work or vacation abroad travel safely.  

Depart Smart is a Guidestar Platinum participant that is dedicated to transparency and that delivered more than 10 workshops to travel programs serving thousands of students and people, such as Rotary International.  

Five years of victim and survivor support culminated into a free travel safety checklist.  You can download a copy on  Higher education risk managers link to this checklist.  As a 2016 Minnesota Cup Social Entrepreneur Semi-finalist, Depart Smart is directed to create travel safety services to provide country specific preparations you need to know and do before departure. These include knowing the emergency number, how to ask for help in the native language, travel health pre-checks and vaccinations, and what type of travel insurance you need for your destination, and more. Did you know it can cost $50-100,000 to bring you home if you are hurt?

Depart Smart is the catalyst behind Minnesota and Virginia safe study abroad transparency laws, and an influencer in national policy. Major news seeks us out with compelling articles in ABC, CBS, NBC, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Newsweek and others.  With help from strategic sponsors like Media Relations, Inc., Depart Smart earned more than 16,000,000 impressions.  Our public service announcements have won Emmy & Telly awards.  Imagine what we could do with full-time faculty.  We are a volunteer-based organization with a few part-time contractors.

The greatest reward for your trust and financial gifts are praises from people we serve like these:

“You’ve changed the way I travel!”

“Thank you! No one has ever told me this before I traveled.”

“I never knew…”

“Thank goodness I learned about you.  My husband needed air ambulance twice and we followed your advice for evacuation insurance.”

“You helped save my child’s life.”

“Peace of mind is priceless.  You helped us prepare for the best and be ready for the worst.”

And more…

How to Give

You can give a donation electronically.  When you join Depart Smart recurring gift donors and become a Lifesaver, your recurring monthly donations are a reliable source of income to sustain our future:

$5 helps print one travel safety checklist.  

$25 provides a one hour travel safety workshop for one person.  

$50 provides a two hour travel safety workshop for one person.

$100 prepares one volunteer for project and risk management.

$500 helps build online country specific travel safety applications.

Lifesaver investors in Depart Smart receive monthly progress updates on our life-saving goals to save lives by helping people travel safely.

Company matches double your gift.  Please send your donation and employer’s matching gift form to:

Depart Smart

5775 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 700

St. Louis Park, MN 55416

Would your company like to become a corporate sponsor of Depart Smart services, benefits, and workshops? Send an email to inquire about sponsorship opportunities to info

Care to donate stock? Stock gifts may be applied to Charles Schwab, DTC Clearing 0164, Code 40, Depart Smart: 5678-2449.

Gift an IRA or other assets such as real estate, securities, art collections, etc., to offer financial benefit and meet wealth and tax goals.

Prefer to give to a donor-advised fund?  We are working with industry leaders on a donor-advised fund. This fund gives our supporters the opportunity to give generously and retain advisory privileges on how the money is invested and distributed. Contact us at info to learn more.

Volunteer time and talent to help us create travel safety applications and serve a greater audience.  

What is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday is making global impact as a viral social media movement encouraging people to give time, talent and wealth to charities they care most about.  #GivingTuesday is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It is fast becoming the kickstart to the giving season.  Following Black Friday and retail power shopping overload, #GivingTuesday may be just the ticket to boost your endorphins and create feel good happiness.  There’s scientific evidence from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that sharing your time, talent and wealth has major health benefits.  “Our conclusion is that helping others reduced mortality specifically by buffering the association between stress and mortality,” study researcher Michael J. Poulin, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, told PsychCentral.


It is a great honor to have your support and trust.  Thank you for caring.  I personally contact every donor to meet you, share passions, and gratitude for a cause I live for passionately. Our sixteen-year-old son, Tyler, lost his life on a People to People program in Japan.  He could be alive if he would have received timely and appropriate medical attention, knew the Japanese hospital was minutes away, or how to dial the 911 equivalent for ambulance and ask for help.  You are the wind in our sails to reach multitudes who need Depart Smart.

Safe journey. Thank you for caring.