5 People, 52 Weeks, 1 Converted School Bus

Summer is here which means it’s time for our summer showcase to begin!

Our first 2012 post comes from a group of recent college graduates touring the United States in a blue school bus*.  I met the author of this post, Gelb, on Twitter and am so honored he agreed to share his story with us.

Like many excited college graduates, around this time late last year I was being bombarded with questions about what was next. While some could point to new jobs, continuation of studies, or sometimes uncertainty, I was different. I was going to live on a converted school bus for a year and make films. Definitely a response that turns heads.

Five of us, all recent college grads, set off in January on a big blue school bus named Stanley.

In recent years, the constant news cycle and changes in the world have provided us with a lot of bad news. Everywhere we turn, there is something going wrong in the world. Whether it be local news reporting on the latest mugging, to your favorite blog, chances are you are like the majority of Americans who make up the startling statistic that those who read, watch and listen to no news are more likely to be happy and positive than those who do. Negativity sells, and human interest is now a four-letter-word.

For 52 weeks, we’re hitting all of the lower 48, showing that no matter where you go, you can find inspiration. Every week, we post new videos, showcase community innovation, and hopefully brighten your day.

The stories we cover are just as innovative as they are varied. Our criteria is pretty straightforward: as long as there’s no political or religious agenda, we’re free to take it on. We wanted to be flexible in the kinds of stories we cover so that we could be surprised and constantly exposed to new things.

Our first story, Knitting Behind Bars is about two retired women who go into a men’s prison and teach the inmates to knit. Another features two young men who go around St Petersburg, Florida and hang swings in random places. We’ve been in schools, hospitals, prisons, concert halls, gyms, sports fields, stables, on farms, construction sites, and dozens more places. A great story is not limited to one kind of place just as it isn’t unique to one part of the country. We’re finding that on our travels, and want to do all we can to help others see the same thing. If you’d like to see where our stories have been so far, we have a handy map with the videos embedded to help you out.

So far we’ve been to 18 states. We started our journey in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside DC. The bus has been working its way out west, covering the southeast and southwest so far. California is next before heading north and working our way back east.

As we are a 501(c)(3), we’re still fundraising. We’re hoping to raise enough money for the remainder of the trip – we’re fully funded through July at the moment.

For more information about the project, check out the Bus 52 website.  We’re on FacebookYouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare

– we’re everywhere!

If you know about something great going on in your community, or know of a story we need to cover, let us know. Say hello@bus52.com.

[Editors note:  If you’d like to chip in on gas money, you can donate to Bus 52 here.]

Are you ready to tell your story?

The summer showcase is all about you and the stories that inspire you.  It won’t be the same if your voice is missing.

Click here for more information on how share your story!  Or, if you aren’t a phone-talker, e-mail me.

*Yes, it’s just as awesome as you are imagining

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