The Cali Cares campaign has nearly reached its end. Thank you for following Mike’s ride, and if you read his last post, you know there will be one or two more turns left in this journey.
Today I want to share my thoughts on a successful and enlightening project.
A sketch by Mike for a Cali Cares brochure. Circa April 2011.
Cali Cares has become more than just raising support and awareness for survivors of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. It is a story of one man’s dedication, and a testament, that all of us are capable of doing more.
To my knowledge, before Cali Cares the farthest Mike would ride a bike was down to the beach, about 2 miles, and he certainly wasn’t worried about where he would stay the night. That’s not to say he didn’t train, he did, but there were a lot more questions than answers when this voyage began. Now, he can ride 60 or more miles a day, he met some amazing people, was privileged to breathtaking scenery, and he helped raise money for a good cause.
I have to include myself in here as well. Before Cali Cares I had little knowledge about Japan, experience with blogs, charities, etc.. but I have come away from this project feeling educated. Both Mike and I have found that by helping others we have ultimately helped ourselves.
For these reasons alone I feel like this project has been a success. However, I have learned a few other things, and I feel it would be a shame not to share them with you.
A few months ago Mike came to me with this question:
“How can I show these people halfway across the world that I sincerely care about them?”
With all of the footage on the news it certainly made us feel like we live in a glass box. But, an empowering thing happened as we explored Mike’s question… We found that while technology may have helped to construct a glass box, it also has the potential to break this box, and provide a level of support which is more human than we first realized.
It’s only a matter of time before future disasters in other parts of the world affect us economically, environmentally, emotionally, etc… But what we learned over the course of this project is that we can use websites, blogs, social media devices, and other neat things (double impact and free rice) to provide support for people outside of our physical range. And the type of support is becoming more immediate, personalized, and sincere.
I think that Cali Cares has become an example of this. I don’t know how many survivors have seen this blog, perhaps zero, but it is now documented that we care about you and your struggle, we love you, and we want you to love the ocean and the earth again.
Knowing that we are leaving this legacy has given us a certain satisfaction… We have answered Mike’s question.
And the future is bright with opportunity.
A little girl in Ofunato receiving a pair of socks. Courtesy of Socks for Japan.
“May you always be close to someone who cares.”