YES, WE HAVE PLANNED A JOSH TOUR!
Recently, I decided to just… go for it.
For the past few years since Josh has become the well-loved, iconic representation of all things inclusive, I have wanted to do public meets and school visits around the country - but it’s not as easy as I thought.
There were a lot of limiting factors to us touring the US, namely work. Both Andrew and I are personal trainers and we just didn't have the schedule or financial freedom to take off for days or weeks at a time to do Josh events. We have done a handful here and there, but we knew that what we offered on the west coast just wasn’t feasible in the east and that didn’t feel right. As idealistic as it sounds, I want everyone to be able to experience the Joshness because in our home, we believe that “everybody gets some” but we simply didn't have the resources to live up to that motto. Also, leaving behind the rest of the pack (there are six of them) didn’t seem right and now that we have Ford as a permanent family member, we aren’t able to travel without him because of his high-level of care. So we basically accepted that a Josh tour just wasn’t happening.
But over the past year, very organically, I began moving away from personal training and have jumped full time into running the Be Like Josh Foundation. In order to make a living without taking from donations, I have started a Patreon community where I offer a second, private instagram page filled with bonus content that people can access by pledging $10 a month. This is how I make income now which allows me the opportunity to run the non-profit full time. Simultaneously, Andrew has been building an online fitness coaching community that has really taken off.
With these two sources of income, we realized that most of our limitations have been removed and therefore, it is time.
The only way we are going to be able to share Josh with everyone who loves him and bring him to the people who need him most, is to pack up our lives and commit to a life on the road, visiting as many Josh fans as possible. That is exactly what we are going to do, but we need your help to make this happen.
We have everything taken care of on the backend, but we need to raise money for mobile living. We went back and forth about how to realistically travel with our pack all over the country. We looked at vans first and converted school buses but with two dogs in wheelchairs and a pack of 7, we had to adjust our priorities. We have seen van lifers do the cool van travel with their dogs, but when considering the needs of dogs with disabilities, we realized that wouldn’t be a fit for us. We need the transportation to be reliable and support a lot of driving miles over two years and we need space. Ford and Josh have to be able to get upright and move around in their chairs inside our home on wheels. They have to be able to function a lot like they do now: accessing an elevated feeder and up on all four paws with assistance. We also need strong, reliable air conditioning. Josh’s disability makes him run hot and he gets uncomfortable and stressed really fast in the heat so we knew that we needed a vehicle that could provide infallible AC without interruption. After lots of discussion we settled on an RV with an open floor plan and lots of storage for our three wheelchairs, 2 bike buggy attachments, wagons and strollers.
So we are fundraising for the RV.
We have already secured it with a down payment. We are buying a 2021 Thor Miramar Class A motorhome.
The total cost out the door is $167,803.84 and I am asking for $175,000 to put a little something towards fuel. Anything raised above and beyond this amount will be allocated towards our two year fuel costs and camping/parking costs.
Our plan is to be on the road by January 2022. We are renting out our house in Phoenix and driving away for good.
We are committing to uprooting our lives (and entire pack of seven dogs) so that Josh can meet everyone that loves him and we hope to inspire and educate along the way. The plan is to visit as many US cities as possible and include school visits, local shelter visits and connect with fellow rescuers to raise awareness for their work.
If we can raise the money and everything goes as planned, we are leaving at the end of January and we will be seeing each and every smiling, Josh-loving face that we can during all of 2022 & 2023. Josh will be 7 & 1/2 years old when this venture is all said and done so time is of the essence.
So here’s to humanity and taking chances, both are a gamble. But the Josh community is a strong, compassionate one and we are so excited to connect with all of you.
Kimberly, Andrew, Josh & pack
We understand that the current Covid climate is ever changing and there are many unknowns. Before donating to this cause, we want you to be aware that tour dates and locations may be subject to change in accordance to Covid restrictions. We will be following CDC guidelines, local laws and in addition, all Josh events will:
Require proof of vaccine OR a negative covid test result.
Until this tour, we have been insulated from exposure and we haven't even had to think about these things until now. They are inconvenient for us too and we are choosing to run our meets this way to ensure the longevity of the tour and the greater good of everyone involved, especially Josh. Without him, there is no tour. We have to be extra cautious and we appreciate your support in this endeavor.