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Meet Merlin Clarke of Do Good Bus

Today we’d like to introduce you to Merlin Clarke.

The idea for the DGB was created in 2011 by Rebecca Reeder (Pontius). She wanted to do something more that celebrate her birthday at a bar or restaurant so she rented a van and invited her friends to do some guerrilla gardening. It was so much fun other friends borrowed the same concept for their birthdays and the Do Good Bus concept was born! Rebecca’s brother is in the band Foster the People, and she then went on tour with them, arranging volunteer opportunities during the day at each tour stop. The superfans would serve side-by-side with the band on the Do Good Bus and then attend the concert at night!

In 2015, we became official as a registered social enterprise and granted non-profit status. Rebecca’s life got BIG, and she decided to start a family! With that amazing responsibility being paramount, she asked Merlin from Dogeared Jewelry, a founding Board Member and original sponsor of the DGB, to take over the operations and since January 2018, has operated the DGB. The Official Do Good Bus is a 1976 Crown that has been restored and retrofitted to encourage conversation in a unique, engaging experience. The Discuss Bus is in the works. More about that later.

Has it been a smooth road?
One of the biggest challenges that we face is getting the word out about what we do. We are a non-profit organization who has limited resources to market and advertise. We are able to do what we do because of the people who spread the word about the Do Good Bus!

Please tell us about Do Good Bus.
The Do Good Bus makes volunteering easy by organizing a pre-planned day of direct giving. Volunteers hop on the bus for a day of fun, friendship, lunch, games and a mystery volunteer location where participants spend the day making an impact together. We like to say you get on as strangers and leave as friends. The Do Good Bus creates community and purpose for everyone involved. Through sharing the special experience of volunteering and the powerful impact of giving back, the Do Good Bus creates a unique community that’s built to last.

We are most proud of the impact that we make on not only the community we serve but the volunteers who jump aboard our bus. Creating connections while giving back never gets old. This is also what sets us apart, the community and friendships that are formed on our rides.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The need for people to do good in the world will and connect only increase over the next ten years. As technology and social media become more and more prevalent in our lives, it seems that we have become more and more isolated. I see the Do Good Bus as a literal vehicle to help drive that connection and community. It is a dream to expand the Do Good Bus to other cities around the U.S.!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Justin Keanu, Tina Chiou

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Check out the VoyageLA Podcast:
Episode 1 with Content Partner Lisa Taitelman, Founder of Hiking & Wellness company Find Your Trail.

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