More Good Road Trip Promotion

Published by Darron Toy on

This fall, I’m fueling up my mother’s old
Subaru for a road trip. I’m going to be traveling to every one of
the fifty states, collecting stories that show every day across America the good that
lies within all of us is taking action. A reminder that there is more good than bad. I’m going to document the entire experience
through stories, photographs and videos on my website. When I return I’m going to send the stories
back out across the country in the form of a book I plan to donate to hospital waiting
rooms and this is why… Four years ago I was sitting in my cubicle
on December 14th staring at my laptop. I couldn’t believe what had just happened
minutes before at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. It was horrifying. My co-worker stopped by my desk as I was scrolling
through the news updates and told me I should have come with him to Starbucks that day. I mumbled back to him that I couldn’t fit
it into the budget this week and he replied, “No, it was free!” I finally took my eyes away from the screen
and asked, “What?” Apparently the man that had gone in earlier
was buying gift cards for his employees and bought a $100 one and said, “Run it out on
the customers behind him.” My co-worker was one of the lucky people to
get the free coffee. I thought it was such a cool idea. He finally walked away from my desk and I immediately picked up the phone
to call my mother. I told her the story about the coffee guy and quickly switched topics to the shooting. I was talking about it in detail for at least ten minutes before she finally interrupted me. She told me I couldn’t focus on this tragic event alone and that I should think more about the man who had gone out that morning and bought coffee for
complete strangers. These were the people and the stories that we should focus on during
the difficult times. That conversation was the catalyst for The GrAttitude Project. I met with my friend Laura a week after the conversation. I explained to her I had an idea for a Facebook project I wanted to start to help me try and focus on the positive
more. My mother’s battle with cancer was becoming more difficult and I needed something to keep
me hopeful. She had a similar idea and we decided to merge the two. She said we could
call it The GrAttitude Project because gratitude could be more than just a feeling, it could
be a behavior. We asked people to email us their stories of random acts of kindness and
we posted one every day, Monday through Friday. The project launched February 14th. 11 days
later I found myself sitting in the waiting room of Sloan Kettering Hospital with my family.
The doctor had told us it was a matter of hours, days if we were lucky. It was the worst
week of my life. It was also less than two weeks after the project started so a lot of
stories were still being emailed in. Every once in a while I would read one to my family.
This provided the tiniest bit of hope during a very dark time for us. My mother died on March 1, 2013. After weeks of trying to pick up the pieces of my life I finally decided to post a story. I started to read the emails, and remembered why I started
the project in the first place. In posting these stories that focused on the positive I realized it was helping me heal. These stories were a constant reminder that there was still good in the world despite how badly I felt. I began to wonder how many other people were
out there sitting in hospital waiting rooms needing a reminder too. It was then that I
realized The GrAttitude Project was merely a stepping stone for something bigger I wanted to create. I wanted to go out and collect 50 different stories from across the
country that would provide hope in a place where it was so desperately needed. A place
I had been myself. So that is what I plan to do this fall. But I can’t do it alone.
I need your help. I’ll be driving to every single state in the U.S. so if you know of
a couch I should crash on, or a story I should hear, or a great ice cream sundae recommendation
along the way please share it with me at [email protected]

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