There are times we sit in the car and brainstorm ideas on potential Project Wildness events. Nothing is off limits and we forget, only for a moment, any constraints we may have. Our recent skateboarding story was one such event, however, there are events we come back to again and again because of how much of an incredible impact they can have even with such a simple action. One of those events is leaving money and a note to recognize hotel staff before checking out. Hotel housekeeping is one of the least recognized jobs despite the fact that most travelers expect to find their accommodations untouched and without a trace. We count on them each time we stay, but rarely offer forward the recognition someone working so hard deserves.

We don’t stay in hotels often on our trips as a way to keep the budget trim, but once in a while we find ourselves with no other option than to find the cheapest local motel. It typically starts with us driving in the dark looking at a map and determining there are no national forests within a reasonable distance. All three of us are thinking, “Why don’t we just stay in a hotel?” But no one wants to be the first to suggest such an option. Eventually, Nate starts calling motels in the closest town and begins his bartering process that inevitably ends in getting a “manager’s discount” or “coupon rate” that was otherwise unadvertised.

So far we have stayed in two hotels on this trip and both times we left a note and a gift to recognize the hard work done by hotel staff each and every day. Our first stay was at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Casa Grande, Arizona. It was a comfortable stay and we fell asleep watching Mexican Action News in preparation for our impending border crossing. The next morning we woke up and packed the car, but before leaving Nate started writing a note of recognition for whoever cleaned our room after we left. We jumped in the car and motored our way around to the front of the complex to use the hotel computer to print off some Mexican car insurance. As we sat in the lobby we overheard some excited hotel staff talking about the gift we left. It felt good to know it was received well.

Our next hotel stay after returning from Mexico landed us in Indio, CA, just west of the Salton Sea. As we drove along the north shore of the Salton Sea we found campground after campground closed for no apparent reason. Any national forest was out of a reasonable driving distance and it was a blistering 112 degrees out and the air smelled of salt and dead fish. The Indio Super 8 & Suites called to us and we came running thankful for the air conditioning and reprieve from the stench of salt-coated fish.

After a comfortable night of sleep we showered (which seemed redundant after spending 1 minute out in the hot sun) and packed the car. Because Shane has the handwriting of a second-grader, Nate wrote a note again. We left a gift of recognition with some stickers and never looked back.

In so many of our events we get immediate reactions from the recipients which is a great experience. It feels good to know how someone feels about our events and it feels even better to hear them talk about how it has inspired them, but it is important to realize ultimately that is not why we do Project Wildness. At the end of the day our goal is to recognize good people and to inspire others to do the same. Whether or not we get to see the results of that should be irrelevant.

Receiving recognition isn’t required for you to give recognition.‪#‎ProjectWildness‬

To Karen and David H… Without hesitation, you offered forward some of what you had with the hopes that it would end up brightening the day of someone we met along the way. With what you donated we were able to show some well-deserved appreciation for some folks working a job that so often goes unappreciated. Today, you showed your appreciation for those people and we can only imagine they are appreciating what you were able to do for them. Thank you!

To Kim M… You have believed in this project from the start. We appreciate your absolute trust with what we would do with your donation and can say it found a good home. The smiles we saw from one staff member assured us that donation made it to a deserving recipient. While he/she will likely never know or meet you, just know you did a random act of kindness for someone working in a difficult job day in and day out. Thank you!

To Bonnie and Mark… The two of you have always been givers and have never expected anything in return. You give from your hearts of your time, your money, your love, and that generosity has affected countless lives. You may never know how those actions have affected each of those people, but that’s not the point. The fact that you give endlessly from the heart is what I truly admire about you. Thanks for being so involved in this idea. We so appreciate it, and can only imagine those on the receiving end appreciate it just as much. Continue being you.

To Darcy D… Like the hotel staff your donation ended up with, you gave without the expectation of being recognized. You had no idea where it would end up, but we can assure you that at least two housekeeping staff found what you gave and felt appreciated for the work they do. We couldn’t have acknowledged them without your help. Thank you for jumping on board with this project and for your incredible generosity.