Friday, November 25, 2011

More publicity! More tickets! More love!

Happy day-after-Thanksgiving, everyone!

Holiday Fare was featured on KGW-TV's "Live @ 7" tonight!

I'm on the new Portland Afoot podcast!

My fiancée and I threw an "orphan dinner party" yesterday afternoon for friends who weren't able to travel to see family. It's an annual tradition. Yesterday brought a new wrinkle, though... guests brought books of transit tickets! I guess I need to accept that I really am "That Transit Guy."

The mail continues to bring lots of tickets every day. Yolanda house is getting 20 books of tickets, instead of the ten I'd originally planned, because the need is so great and you all have given me the means to step up our donation. Great work, philanthropists!

Here's the "how to donate" page. And, if you can't donate this year, just spread the word. The more people know about this, the more tickets we collect - and the more free rides people receive.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tickets are pouring in! And walking in!

I had a wonderful experience this morning - I was called out of a staff meeting. Usually, that means I've got a client in crisis who needs to be seen immediately. Today, though, it meant something else entirely. A woman was standing in the waiting room, three books of bus tickets in hand. She told me a little bit about her family, and how she had kids who took the bus and she couldn't imagine someone being unable to get around. She handed me the tickets and told me that she appreciated what I was doing.

I told her that SHE was doing it. All I've done is put an idea to work. You all are doing the rest. The idea is about love and caring, and ideas about love can't miss. She handed those tickets over with love for her fellow humans, even though she had no idea who she was helping.

I got a text from my fiancee when I was on the MAX on my way home - "You have 17 Holiday Fare envelopes waiting for you." Amazing. Counting up just today's donations was so much fun - over 15 books of tickets and FIFTY all day passes.

And tomorrow's mail will bring more. As I said to Joe Rose of the Oregonian, there's no end to the need. I will easily be able to give away every single ticket I get from all of you. And there will be more need after that.

Here's how to donate. Please share this link with your friends and neighbors. Giving is easy, and it makes such a huge difference to people in your community.

Thanks! I'll keep you updated!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

That Transit Guy

Yesterday's Oregonian story from my friend Joe Rose has had an amazing impact on the Holiday Fare project. I even got recognized at a buddy's fundraising event last night - "hey, uh, I feel weird asking this, but are you that transit guy?"

So, I guess I'm That Transit Guy now. Works for me.

I've had offers to build a website (yeah, that might be nice!), help with tax stuff if I decide to keep doing this (yeah, I probably will) and amazing letters of support and offers of generous donations. It seems that the concept of helping people with as basic a need as transportation has struck a chord in a lot of people in Portland and beyond.

We've shot past the milestone of ten ticket books, so I'm working with Ashley from Yolanda House to get those tickets to them. FANTASTIC! When I started this thing, I set an informal goal of 20 ticket books. I have a feeling I'm going to exceed that one. :)

All of this is to say thank you so much for what you've done so far. And, if you'd like to help, here's how to donate. If you can't donate, please share the link with people.

And if you see me on the MAX, please say hello. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yay! Oregonian story is up!

Here's Joe Rose's lovely story about the ticket drive, and about yours truly and my crazy-epic commute. He rode all the way out to Forest Grove with me. Talk about intrepid reporting! :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Joe Rose, AKA @pdxcommute on Twitter, AKA the "Hard Drive" guy for the Oregonian, rode with me on my commute yesterday. He's going to profile me in his column in this coming Saturday's Oregonian - I'll be sure to link it when it hits the stands (and the nets). I'm excited to get more exposure for the Holiday Fare project!

In the meantime, take a few minutes, log in to, and send a book of transit tickets! Here's how to donate.

I'm getting realllllllly close to being able to give tickets to Yolanda House. Maybe your donation will put me over the top!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Picking up momentum!

I've really been looking forward to getting my mail these days... each delivery brings more books of transit tickets! We're almost up to our first ten, which means it's almost time to donate to Yolanda House. What a wonderful thing! That's over two hundred dollars in bus and train rides that YOU are helping make available. Please help us get over the top - here's how to donate.

Another way that you can help is by clicking the Facebook, Twitter, and G+ links at the bottom of this post. Getting the word out is so important to collecting as many rides as possible!

Thank you so much for all your help so far. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Where are the tickets going? Part two

I'm happy to announce that the second ten books of tickets will be going to Outside In to support their work with homeless and marginalized youth.

Please continue to spread the word. Here's how to donate! Several people have told me that ordering through is easy and fast!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Where are the tickets going? Part One.

Running a one-person "charity" is an interesting experience. One of the high points is unilateral decision-making, with no board of directors full of business types to muck things up.

I've decided that the first ten books of tickets, if I get that many, will go to Yolanda House, a domestic violence shelter. Read the link - it looks like a pretty amazing place. As a therapist, I've worked with some incredibly courageous domestic violence survivors. With your help, this first donation will honor them.

Oh, and check out the list of needed items on their site. Bus tickets are their second most needed item, right after toilet paper.

What I'm saying, folks, is that it's not a bad idea to buy some extra TP on your next shopping trip and drop it off at the Y downtown!

Here's how to make a ticket donation.

If you've got an idea for the next ten books of tickets, especially if it's somewhere you've got some personal experience with, please let me know at

Thank you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

How to make a donation

Someone has graciously kicked off Holiday Fare with a generous donation of five books of transit tickets, so I've decided to just GET STARTED. I know momentum when I see it!

Here's how to donate:

- Trimet's web site has a list of places to buy tickets. Many grocery stores carry transit tickets, as do some workplaces. You can get them at TriMet's Pioneer Courthouse Square location, too. You can also buy books of tickets online and have them mailed directly from Trimet.

- Once you get your hands on a book of tickets (if you're new at this, just ask for "a book of adult fare tickets"), all that's left is to send them my way! Mail them to Holiday Fare, c/o Jeff Guardalabene, 1130 NE 108th Ave., Portland 97220. I'm even willing to come by and pick them up if that's the only way you're going to give them, but don't expect same-day service on that one. :)

- I will post updates on how we're doing. Honestly, my expectations are low. I will be tickled just to help a few people out at holiday time.

- If you represent an organization or group that needs tickets, please let me know. As I give tickets away, I will post about that, too. The only way this is going to work is by being as transparent as possible. As I said in a previous post, I'm really hoping to NOT complicate this - you mail me the tickets, I figure out who needs them, everyone's happy.

- If you're worried about the process, or if you feel that this is not "above board" somehow, PLEASE DO NOT DONATE. I can't stress this enough. This process is about one guy collecting some tickets and giving them to some other people. If that's not the kind of process you need to make you feel okay about your donation, then please find one of the zillions of other worthy causes out there, and more power to you!

- I'm not going to set a goal. Let's just do this with gratitude and love and see where it takes us. Give if you can, spread the word if nothing else, and let's help a few people get some rides.

- Thanks!


I've been blogging for a long time - first with LiveJournal, and then on to other venues. My main blog, Doc Blog, is all about psychology and therapy. I also write about transit as a contributor to the most excellent TriMet Diaries site.

A while ago, I started live-tweeting my lengthy commute on public transit, as @doctor_jeff. Through a few quirks of fate, I've become a bit of a transit pundit. Strange as it may sound, I have grown to love that role, and would like to use my voice to do some good.

In my travels on TriMet, I see lots of folks who aren't as lucky as me. I've got a subsidized annual pass, a full time job, and a car if I need to get somewhere in a hurry. Lots of the people I share a ride with have none of those things. While a transit fare is not that big a deal to me, for some people it's the difference between getting to the job site (or high school!) or just having to stay home.

It's obviously a huge problem, and I'm not going to pretend that I'll be able to make much of a dent. I'd like to do SOMETHING, though. So, here's the deal. I'd like to collect books of transit tickets and distribute them. The distribution part should be easy - I have connections with SUN schools and should have no problem getting the tickets into the hands of people who need them.

Collecting is a different story. I'd like to do this so there's no cash involved - I want to simply collect books of ten transit tickets. My plan at this point is to just have people buy them and send them to me in the mail. You can get them at most grocery stores, or you can order online at and have them mailed.

I'll work out the details as I go. What I DON'T want this to become is COMPLICATED. I'm starting really small scale this year, and if we get some interest I'll increase the effort next year. I just wanted to get a post up for you folks to see, and open it up to comments and suggestions. I guess we'll start collecting bus tickets around Thanksgiving time.

Let me know what you think!