Friday, February 13, 2015

Returning favors, one step at a time

Tommy Lukrich, 24, of Moscow, Idaho, graduated last spring from the University of Idaho with a BA in theater performance. It wasn't an easy four years financially. He almost had to drop out when he couldn't find funds for tuition, but a professor gave him $2,000 so he could complete his degree. Instead of getting a job after graduation, Lukrich decided to "pay forward" the kindness he'd received as an undergrad. He took five months to walk across America, handing $100 bills to unsuspecting strangers who went out of their way to help him. An online crowd fund campaign helped him raise money to give away. His journey began in late May in Portland, ending in NYC in November.

Walking across America

Why give away $100 bills? Lukrich believes "there's something in a $100 bill that really shocks people. It's enough to be significant, but it's not too excessive. It also makes for a great story for them in their life."

He sought no publicity and avoided telling people exactly where he was at any given time, to avoid folks who might take advantage of him. And he never carried more than $100 on him. "Most of the time, people think I'm homeless," he said, but folks still offered help. In Washington state, Stacy gave him protein bars and $10 despite recently losing her job. She cried when he gave her a $100 bill. In North Dakota, Justin offered him a shower, meal and bed. "In the morning, he treated me to breakfast and told me he'd taken in 15 other hitchhikers that month. The person before me had robbed him, but he took me anyway."

Lukrich had a lot of time to think during his five-month odyssey, and the people he met along the way are providing inspiration for a career in theater.

No comments:

Post a Comment