Once Everton has touched you nothing will be the same.
Those immortal words were spoken by Everton legend Alan Ball, and the sentiment still holds true today. Evertonians have always been a unique brand of supporter: fiercely passionate, unwaveringly loyal, and just a tad masochistic. This football club has touched people from every continent and from every walk of life, and our goal is to find those people and to tell their stories. With that in mind, we here at Royal Blue Mersey would like to announce the birth of the Everton Journey Project.
How It Will Work
The basic idea is that we will purchase a small stuffed teddy bear emblazoned with the Everton crest, send him on a journey around the world, and in the process allow Evertonians to share their stories before passing the bear on to the next person. Tom is going to kick this thing off by purchasing our traveling mascot at the Everton team store before a game, taking the bear to Goodison Park, and then sending him off on his epic journey.
When the bear arrives at a new destination, the person who gets him will be asked to take a photo (or photos) of themselves with the bear (perhaps while watching Everton play or in front of a famous landmark). Also, we are encouraging each person who receives the bear to write a note telling the story of how he or she became a fan of the Toffees. Then the person will send the bear on to the next person.
Much of the credit for this idea goes to Gaslamp Ball, the SB Nation blog for the San Diego Padres baseball team. They have been doing a similar project for the past year and we encourage you to check it out, as it should give you an idea of what we’re trying to accomplish here.
How to Participate
Our ultimate goal is for the bear to spend an entire year traversing the globe. To make this goal a reality, we need volunteers who are willing to contribute to the project. If you are interested in being a part of the Everton Journey Project, simply send me an email at seanswinney1 at gmail.com. In your email, include your mailing address and any special instructions for us (for example, if there is a certain timeframe in which you would like to receive the bear).
Once I have the information of everyone who wants to participate, I will create a master schedule that makes sense logistically and minimizes shipping costs. It might also be a good idea to include in your email if you would be willing to ship the bear internationally, though that is not a requirement for participating. All we ask is that:
1. You are a fan of Everton.
2. You are willing to take a photo (or photos) with the bear.
3. You are willing to write a note telling your personal story and how you became a fan of Everton. Length is not important here; this can be as long as 2,000 words or as short as two sentences. We are considering including a questionnaire to assist people, though we encourage people to be creative.
4. You are willing to mail the bear on to the next participant.
Once you have taken a photo with the bear and written your note, you will simply email both to me at the above email address. Then I will post your story on the website, allowing our readers to follow the bear’s progress and meet Everton fans worldwide. Finally, I will then email you the mailing address of the next participant, allowing you to send the bear on his way.
Let's Make This Happen!
We believe the Everton Journey Project has the potential to be an incredible experience for everyone involved, but we can’t do it alone. We need people to volunteer to participate in the project, and the more people who sign up the better! Tell your friends who are fans of Everton about what we’re doing and encourage them to join the fun. We hope to launch the project around the New Year, so we will spend the next month recruiting volunteers.
Again, if you would like to participate send an email to seanswinney1 at gmail.com.