By Rebecca Susmarski
The Register-Mail, Galesburg, Ill.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Megan Maloney’s travel site, “Charity Pro Travel” allows customers to book flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages. The company then donates 50 percent of all commissions to the charity of the customer’s choice.
Before she even reached her teenage years, Megan Maloney founded her own business when she thought of a way to help others in the wake of a personal tragedy.
The Knoxville resident lost her grandfather and uncle to cancer, and her grandmother died of a heart attack after surviving her battle with breast cancer.
In 2008, Maloney, then only 11 years old, asked her father Brad if there was a way they could help other people fighting cancer through an online travel business Brad planned to test.
The result was Charity Pro Travel, which the Maloney family put on the shelf for a while before Maloney re-launched it this year.
The site allows customers to book flights, hotels, rental cars or vacation packages, and Charity Pro Travel donates 50 percent of all commissions to the charity of the customer’s choice.
“It has always been my dream to bring this idea to fruition and to really make a difference,” Maloney said.
Now 20 years old and on track to graduate from Illinois Central College this year, Maloney plans to kick off a major marketing campaign for the site this fall, but she has already made some big changes since the site’s reboot.
Charity Pro Travel partnered with Priceline to provide the site’s travel-related products. Maloney also hired Keith Hudson, a family friend and father of pop star Katy Perry, to be the organization’s CEO.
“Dad and I started talking about re-launching the company in July 2016,” Maloney said. “My dad had previously shown Keith the concept and had told him that if we ever re-launched, he would like to have him involved.