Midwest Travel Bloggers Making a Difference

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Ever since this health scare began, it seems that people have been stepping up to make life better for others. I thought it might be nice to profile some of these wonderful bloggers making a difference. Read about people trying to brighten corners right here in the Midwest!

Jim and Theresa Goodrich making a difference!

The Goodrichs, bloggers making a difference.

I first met Theresa Carter Goodrich several years ago at a wonderful girls getaway hosted by Lorraine Kennedy Winterink at her beautiful Red Cedar Lodge Cabins in Charles City, Iowa. Theresa and I bonded over early mornings when the other ladies were still sleeping. As early risers we got to know each other on this wonderful getaway.

Theresa writes the blog The Local Tourist about things to do in downtown Chicago. She is also the author of the Two Lane Gems series a couple wonderful books about travels along Route 66 and more as well. I met her charming husband Jim during a trip to lovely Hendricks County Indiana. Jim, an accomplished musician owns The Caroling Connection a Caroling Company and other business endeavors as well.

The Goodrichs doing good

Jim is reading children’s books online. Theresa is sharing Chapters of her Two Lane Gems books for people to enjoy while home during this COVID-19 scare.

With his wonderful radio voice, this is a win/win for everyone! Jim said that his business umbrella DBA is With a Voice Like This. “This has been my DBA since 2007 my umbrella name for caroling, entertainment and media.”

Jim and the Children’s books

Reading children’s stories online began through the suggestion of a friend. “Jim, a friend of ours, and I have been looking into this because Theresa said this about reading audio books. Then a friend said ‘hey, I could see you reading for kids’.”

The idea went from there. Jim prerecords the story and puts up the book showing the pages as he reads along. The stories are loaded under Stories With A Voice Like This. “This is for kids and YouTube just instituted no live chat, no commenting, and no personalized ads, when you do it so you can’t monetize it and I like that.  The whole idea is to have something for kids out there at a specific time and maybe give the parents a bit of respite.  If I release it at the same time they know that its coming,” Jim said.

“It sort of grew from there as well because I am trying to work with current authors by doing what I can.” Jim shares links to purchasing books on YouTube for the site so authors get something out of it as well. 

“When I can, with the links I do an affiliate link.” He has a spot on his site with a little coffee can where donations can be made.

“I’m trying to benefit as many people as I can and hope it will grow from there. It is all about the stories.”

So far he has worked with three local authors (Carrie Steinweg, Lori Helke and myself) and hopes to work with more. If not, he plans to work with stories in the public domain.

Theresa sharing her books

Theresa Carter Goodrich was supposed have a launch party for her new book Living Landmarks of Chicago then COVID-19 hit. She is currently finishing the book. The idea for sharing chapters of her book came when she was supposed to have her launch party last week.  “We’ll have one when we can, and have a virtual launch when they do. I’m releasing excerpts once every week or two on Living Landmarks of Chicago.com.”

Chapters of Two Lane Gems Volume I Turkey’s Are Jerks and Other Observations From an American Roadtrip, are now available on the Local Tourist website. Theresa said after she finishes releasing all of Volume I, Volume II is next!

“I just thought people need something to read. They need something entertaining. The Two Lane Gems are in first person like you are on the road with us, even though you have to shelter in place.  These stories give people an outlet from the doom and gloom.”

The reason for one Chapter at a time she said was like the serial stories in the magazines in the late 1800 and 1900’s. “I can’t write about travel so I do what can I do.  I want people to read the book, these were labors of love something I wanted to do my entire life.” 

Being inspired by bloggers making a difference

The Goodrichs said they have been inspired by others in the Chicago area they have been opening their studios doing live streaming. Many they said have been sharing yoga, art and fitness training.

What can we all do to help out? If nothing else sharing stories of inspiration like that of Jim and Theresa Goodrich doing good has inspired me. These bloggers are making a difference. I hope it has also inspired you!