CLINE: Friends gearing up for next trip of good deeds

Photo by Picasa 3.0

Photo by Picasa 3.0

I've known Cliff Ramos and Steve West for a long time. And most of my professional relationship with them has involved their former roles as wrestling coaches at Collins Hill and Shiloh, respectively.

But last year I wrote about the two friends from a different perspective, that of adventuresome travelers with a do-good spirit. They set out with no itinerary or predetermined destination, literally going where the road took them.

Along the way they pledged to do good deeds, helping people when the chance presented itself. And as a way to make those good deeds pay off, they solicited donations per deed to go to Family Promise, an organization that brings shelter, meals and support services to local families, housing them in local churches until they can get back on their feet. The trip -- dubbed "Coach and Pee-Wee's Great Adventure" raised more than $1,000 for the charity last year.

This year, the two men -- Ramos is "Coach" and West is "Pee Wee" -- have chosen another charity to help. This time the good-deed donations will go to the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry, which provides food and emergency financial help to needy families.

This year's trip is slated to start July 17. And like the pair's previous adventures, they will just start driving and see where they end up. Last year's trip stretched as far west as Wyoming and as far north as South Dakota, with the men helping a lost motorist in Illinois, sharing fresh blackberries with construction workers in Indiana and surprising a weary Nebraskan motel worker with a coconut cream pie.

Last year, the two amassed 14 good deeds during the trip, and the goal is to get at least 15 this year. They're asking for people to donate per good deed. Donations can be made online at www.lawrencevilleco-op.org by clicking the "make a donation" button or by mailing a check to: The Lawrenceville Co-operative Ministry, P.0. Box 1328, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.

You can follow their trip and keep track of their good deeds at http://good-deed-doers.blogspot.com.

Ramos said they received a lot of positive feedback about the trip, with most people envious of traveling on a whim and taking time to enjoy the little things instead of rushing to and from each scheduled stop. Several folks vowed to take a trip like that of their own.

Here's hoping the good deeds are likewise imitated. Any money Ramos and West can raise during their trip is great, but motivating others to do good deeds of their own is a by-product that would make both men proud.

Email Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Wednesdays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/toddcline.