Last week, I heard about The Van With No Plan, a trio of 20-somethings road-tripping across the country doing volunteer work where ever they land. This reminded me of Activate Good’s own ‘origin story‘, so naturally, I had to reach out to them!
Since landing in Raleigh on February 2, The Van crew – Matt, Josh, and Samantha – has already experienced volunteering with some of the great organizations our community has to offer, including Safe Haven for Cats and 4 Philip dot org. We connected with them on Facebook, and soon enough, they signed up and joined one of our groups to volunteer at Goodwill Community Farm this past Saturday. We invited them to lunch afterwards (on a road trip, you’re not always sure from where or when your next meal will come!).
As we sat down to lunch with Matt, Josh, and Samantha, a wave of nostalgic joy washed over me. I listened to their tales of the people they’d met state to state, the connections they’d made, and I remembered myself on our road trip years ago.
We’re all searching for something. I believe we all want to do something amazing, something good for the world. We don’t always know how to find it, but that’s what journeys like this are about.
Years ago, on our own road trip, volunteerism became my ‘something’ – volunteering myself, but especially helping others find their ‘something’, their spark within them to volunteer. Through this cause I found purpose and direction, and also, a way to connect to others. When the people around you are there because they care about a common cause in their hearts, you just feel it, and connection naturally occurs. It’s how strangers – even those from across the country – can become friends. In the long run, it’s how community gets built.
This is what we felt back on the road in 2004. It was nostalgic, and inspirational, to be part of the welcome team for other travelers searching for a way to give and connect this time.
If you read this before the Van leaves for a new city, reach out to them. Welcome them, show them what inspires you to do the good you do, and fuel them up with volunteer-inspiration for their next adventure!