Hope on The River: 30 days I leave on a journey to save Spare Key and find Hope

Hope on the River FINAL JPG

Today marks 30 days until I board a raft made from a 50-year old pontoon, a re-engineered wooden shed, and the labor of my brother, his daughter, my son, three Johns and a Ray.

In 2 months, I will travel 1,700 miles, through 10 American states in the hopes of saving 1 non-profit organization called Spare Key.

I will travel on a river of hope.

Hope on the River.

Spare Key will lose nearly $750,000 in revenue this year because of cancelled or postponed events, a significant drop-off in corporate and foundation grants and reduced individual giving.

COVID-19 and its effect on our collective personal, economic, societal, and cultural health has been devastating.

Between the lost lives, lost jobs, and lost confidence in the future far too many of us are struggling to survive – literally and figuratively.

Yet, I believe there is hope.

Hope on the River.

We’re a better America than we see too often on social media, the television news, newspapers and hear on the radio.

Yet, we’re not a perfect America.

The loss of John Lewis who inspired generations to go out and cause “Good Trouble” should underscore that one man’s lifetime battle for equity and equality wasn’t ever over.

But there is hope.

Hope on the River.

I travel along the Mississippi River alone for two months because I need to find hope for Spare Key.

I need to find hope that there remain those who want to support Spare Key’s mission to serve families facing a medical crisis.

But I need to find hope that the America I know we are, and know we can be, exists stronger than it seems to be right now.

I will travel to give voice back to my Lula Mische, my Aunt, who inspired me to change the world but to try to see the world through her eyes even if I couldn’t walk it in her shoes.

I get on a raft because of families whose daughter is struggling with a heart condition – a Mom in the fight against breast cancer – a son who was born too soon – a Dad battling to recover from a catastrophic injury.

I will be away from those I love the most for two-months because it matters to me that Americans see other Americans who have the same hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the future.

I know there is hope.

Hope on the River.

I have been asked if travelling alone on a raft for two months scares me.

It does.

I’ve never been the bravest person in the world.

Sleeping along a riverbank at night with wild animals in the dark sits uncomfortably in the back of my mind, pushed out of the way by the abundance of other things I need to worry about to get ready for this trip.

I’m not the first person in the world to take a raft down the river.

But it is the first time I have ever done anything like this.

Where will I go?  Who will I meet?  What will I do?

I don’t know but I’m getting ready to go.

I hope you will join me on this river by liking our Hope on The River Facebook page:  @hopeontheriver and sharing that link with others.

I hope you will follow my journey on our Website at  www.HopeOnTheRiver.com and consider making a pledge for each mile I travel – and encourage others you know to do so, as well.

I hope you will follow our Twitter feed @HopeOnTheRiver and our Instagram feed at @hope_on_the_river

I hope you will text the word “RIVER” to 52000 and make a $5.00 donation to Spare Key.

I hope you will hope for me.

I hope you will hope for Spare Key.

I hope you will find hope on the river with me.

Hope on The River.

It’s there.

I hope to find it every single day.

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