This is discussion about Heart of Travel - Help me continue my mom Joyce's journey and connect those with cancer.
I just posted this proposal today, so I appreciate any insights or feedback you may have. This is an idea I want to materialize, so I definitely welcome your tips and ideas on how to make it better.
As far as the pictures, they are of my mom during her first trip ever to New York City (just before her cancer diagnosis and death), and my mom and I at one of my graduation ceremonies.
Thanks for taking the time to read my entry, and I genuinely appreciate your votes and support!
Great ... This is the most Wonderful thing I have ever read!
I love this, I will support in any way I can!
I think this is an amazing idea and a beautiful way to turn the dreams of one individual into the realities of thousands! I really love the part about how this will allow a multi-cultural sharing of feelings and ideas about what cancer patients are going through. I've never heard of anything like that and I think it will have a very amazing impact on helping people and their families deal with their experiences.
This idea should be applauded as both humanitarian and compassionate. SImilar to the Make A Wish Foundation or Big Brother Organization, however this is more global in nature. I would like to think that leaving an imprint of your heart with a family member 2,000 miles away and getting the chance to say hello and good-bye might bring worlds and souls together.
With the amount of people worldwide affected by this horrible disease, it's hard to imagine anyone not finding this idea irresistable. We constantly hear about a "global economy" but this idea really highlights where our emphasis should be, a "global community". Cancer knows no borders or boundaries, the dialogue should be global. Kudos to Brandon for turning his personal tragedy into such a compassionate, beautiful concept. I will certainly be in what should be a long line of humans helping this idea become reality.
Thanks to everyone for their votes of confidence and support. Before I decided to focus on the nonprofit side, my background was in international branding, so I'm particularly proud that you all seem to get the essence of and story behind my idea. This is ultimately what will drive the organization and, hopefully, determine our success. Thanks again for your support. It means a lot to myself, my mom, and hopefully anyone who has been impacted by cancer.
My hat goes off to this uncanny idea. Continue to follow your heart and make everyone pay attention to what is real
What a fabulous way to celebrate someone's life! I am proud of Brandon for thinking of other people in need and I know how deeply cancer has affected 1000's of families int his country alone, yet alone the entire world! I think this idea could establish a forum for people to be able to live out their dreams and find a little peace in an otherwise crazy world!
Pura Vida all,
Good luck with your mission B! I have full faith in your cause and that your mom is super proud of your efforts in helping others battle this disease.
What a fantastic idea!! I will support you any way I can.
Like everyone else, I think this is a unique idea that will allow people who might not otherwise get the opportunity to experience this beautiful world. Keep up the good work!
Got your message on FB and I just voted for your project...it's an amazing concept and so wonderful. We lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer this year. I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. I am full supportive of your effort and wish you the very best!
(from GBHS, '93)
A great meaningful idea to be supported..
An excellent idea, good luck!
Great inititative!!! Really hope you make it..
I love it! Having my dad impacted by this horrific disease, I wish we've had the time to do such a trip. Trips are not only about the time and travel, it's about expanding your horizons, finding spiritual guidance, and having access to a support group bigger than anyone can envision. Please count on me to support anyway I can. I truly hope you can make this happen!!!
I just want to say that this is a great idea and I totally support it. I spent quite a bit of time with your mom before she made the move to St. Pete and I know she would be so proud of you for doing this. Good luck man and I hope you get it.
Hope you get enough votes!!!
Thanks to everyone for their votes and feedback. It's both amazing and unfortunate how many people have been impacted by cancer. Whether selected or not, this project has already connected me with others who want to participate in the process or combine efforts.
This is the final week of the contest. If anyone has any specific recommendations, please let me know so that I can consider them for my final revisions.
this is great. Wish you best of success! And a great experience to everybody who will participate and benefit from this!!
good luck! great initiative!
Hey Brandon, I think it's awesome what you're doing. Your sister is really proud of you too. Good luck with this!
Hi Brandon, I too have lost a very special person to Cancer. My FATHER. Let me know what I can do to help. I will make what ever effort I can to help.
This is a noble cause. I wish you the best of luck. I have 25k of US Airways miles expiring on June 1. Lemme know if you can use them. I am sorry for your loss but happy to learn that you are turning a negative into a positive.
Best regards, Dustin Williamson
Thanks for sending the link B. I am glad to have been able to participate! God Bless!
In addition to help with things like website design and fundraising, I have already had several supporters offer to donate their frequent flyer miles. One of our primary sources of funding will the unused/expiring miles segments. Since we are in a pre-launch phase, we desperately need to develop partnerships with some of the major airlines and hotel groups.
This is why a publication in Condé Nast Traveler magazine, in particular, would be essential to our foundation. We are likely to attract the attention of some of the major industry players, who may be willing to donate flights, accomodations, rental cars, or travel services. Yesterday, a new supporter offered 25,000 miles which, as many travelers know, is normally enough for a roundtrip ticket to anywhere in the U.S. on many airlines.Given the purpose and scope of the Miles of Miracles Foundation, we feel Condé Nast Traveler magazine would be a natural fit for us and our cause. Thanks so much for your support!
Hey Brandon, please stay in touch! we both won... yeah. my other friend ross also won.
lets work together to realize all the great things we want to do together.
Hi, great job and best of luck with your plans. If you need any help along the way which WHL can assist with please let us know.
Kind Regards............. Len
Thanks to everyone for their support. I recently filed as a nonprofit foundation with the state of California, so this idea is coming to fruition indeed. Once again, I want to sincerely thank both Ashoka and Conde Nast Traveler magazine for offering such an inspiring competition.
We are no longer operating under the name "Miles of Miracles". We have registered as the HEART OF TRAVEL FOUNDATION, and our new website address is
Thanks again for your support, and please feel free to contact us if you would like to help as a trip sponsor, volunteer, or board member.
John Brandon Bethea
We received news this past week from the Secretary of State that the Heart of Travel Foundation is now officially incorporated in the state of California! Thanks again for everyone's support before, during, and after the competition.
Our logo is now complete, and Heart of Travel would like to also offer our sincerest thanks to Ben and the crew at Spitfire Media Group, based in Georgia. They do some great creative work, if you ever have any marketing or branding needs. Our logo should be posted on the profile very soon.
Our next steps are finalizing the Board of Directors and filing for tax exemption. If you do donate, please keep in mind we have not received this exemption yet, so your donations may or may not be tax deductible depending on the IRS ruling.
If you are interested in helping a great cause as a local or virtual volunteer, please contact me. We are also seeking board members with experience in the wish-granting, accounting/legal, or travel industry.
Best wishes and safe travels,