This month's featured #bloomboy is BIG DAVE!
Dave is an author, trainer, and first and foremost- a dreamer! He has cycled around the world and has hugged and high fived over 500,000 people in 50 states & 42 countries! Dave is currently on a 30 day tour around the country and he is buying a meal for someone in each of the 50 states! Dave is so inspiring. Read more about him below and follow along with his journey on Instagram.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
After my friend was killed in the World Trade Center, I adopted a mission to enhance the world one interaction at a time and to that end, have bicycled and given charitable service in:
Africa '04 - Cairo to Cape Town
Asia '07 - Istanbul to Beijing
North America '08 - San Diego to NYC
North America '11 – Minneapolis to NYC
Australia '15 - Sydney to Melbourne
Unable to bicycle in 2016, I continued on my mission via a car and held hug/high5 events in 31 states - making it a point to visit places touched by violence like San Bernardino, OKC, Chicago, Cleveland, and Orlando the Pulse Nightclub. The previous year's warmth prompted me to hug people at the "literal" heart/center of the nation in Lebanon, KS, on Valentine's Day 2017. Later in 2017, I did a Hug and High5 Tour of America and hugged 14K people in 48 states. My tour was a fantastic experience that touched a lot of people because when the shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas, occurred - people said, "Dave get down there and hug people." And I did.Since then, I have gone to stage hug tours throughout Alaska, Europe, and Israel. And that's my story - I am just a guy who wants the world to smile and has embraced 500,000+ people in 50 states and 42 countries in 19 years to achieve it!
How did @thehumanhigh5 get its start?
After my friend was killed, I made it my mission to try and do what I can to make the world a better place.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
The smiles of the people I embrace and hearing them say, "Don't stop doing what you do." when we do hug. That inspires me to no end.
What's the biggest challenge you've faced, personally or professionally? How have you overcome it?
Lack of sponsorship has been a HUGE challenge. After hearing "No," so many times, there are points where I want to walk away, but I ALWAYS come back to the people I hug and their kind words. Companies can fund my travels, but it is the emotional support that I get from the people I've embraced that TRULY fuels my passion and drive.
If you could talk to yourself five years ago, what advice would you give yourself? Ask for your' biggest ask" first. You can always scale things back, but it's challenging to ramp things up after asking for something paltry. For instance, if you need 20 bucks, ask for 20 dollars. Don't ask for ten and then try to up the ante later on -that never works. I would also say, "You are on the right track; Stay with it!!"
What are some key books/learning experiences that helped shape you/your business? I think that one thing that stops a lot of people is asking for help/funding. It is hard to do. That said, I take note of people's stories when they address that issue.
What are some ways others can perform Acts of Kindness in their community and around the world? Between COVID, this political race, social justice issues, and other things - 2020 has left us all masked, separated, and reeling emotionally. Acts of kindness are even more important to us all. That said, call someone and ask how they are and ACTUALLY listen when they answer. Offer to buy someone a meal - your meal helps support a local eatery and delivery person and shows someone you care. Greet someone when they walk by- your "have a good day" may be the ONLY ONE they hear. Smile, even though you are masked - people can feel the energy. Check on the senior citizens in your neighborhood- you don't have to go in their homes, but you can stop by and wave! They will appreciate it.
Call dave if you need a (virtual) hug (267) 252-1974.
Follow Dave on Instagram, here.
Do you know someone doing something amazing in your community? Nominate them to be a featured #bloomgirl by emailing us at email@example.com!