May 10, 2009

Global Hug Tour

Global Hug Tour from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaI love stories like this. In Chicago last weekend I met Gail Lynne Goodwin of Inspire Me Today, who told the Business School for Bloggers gathering about her new project: the Global Hug Tour.

Gail and her husband Darryl — an ordinary couple from Boulder, Colo. — were sitting around one day and decided to make a difference in people’s lives around the world by launching an event that combines good vibes and charitable giving with the power of social media.

This fall they’ll be boarding a small prop prop plane, flying it more than 31,000 miles and visiting 50 cities around the world over five months. They’ll do three things in each location:

• Gather inspiration from local luminaries to share on Inspiremetoday.com.

• Give 2,000 hugs in each of those locations, “literally wrapping the world in more than 100,000 hugs,” Gail says.

• Give away more than $1 million to nonprofit causes in each of those 50 locations. The causes run the gamut from breast cancer and AIDS prevention and treatment to grizzly bear preservation.

Now, here’s where you — and the power of social media — come in: Starting May 11, they’ll begin raising $1 million (it could go higher) on the Globalhugtour.com site. Remarkably, the causes will be funded in $10 increments through the use of through social media, Twitter and other outreach tools.

“One hug in Chicago will feed three homeless people. Two hugs in Cambodia will pay the entire cost of educating a child for a year. 100 hugs in Chani, India, will pay the entire cost of open heart surgery for a child,” she says. “Just in Chani city there are 53,000 kids on a waiting list. It’s a crime to me to think that it only costs $1,000 to save a life. So that’s why we’re doing this.”

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