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United States mayors kick off Extra Mile Day

Six years ago, acclaimed writer and inspirational speaker Shawn Anderson came up with the concept of Extra Mile Day, a campaign which aimed to celebrate society’s real heroes. The campaign’s very first year saw some 23 mayors across the country lending their support to the push, along with a slew of established local organizations and a number of key individuals passionately involved with volunteering.

“2009 was a bad year,” says Anderson. “People were losing their jobs and homes, businesses were closing, and people were looking at the government, shouting: ‘What are you going to do to fix this mess?”

Anderson chose to put his efforts into spreading the message implementing positive changes was not necessarily just the business of government or some city council scheme, “but rather ourselves and our own willingness to do more and be more.”

Inspired by his remarkable new insight, Anderson unveiled the Extra Mile America Tour — and, underpinning the actual theme of going that extra mile — embarked on a 4,000 mile coast-to-coast solo bike ride. He staged a series of events during the course of his ride, interviewing hundreds of people who had been put forward as having either struggled to deal with tragedy or had achieved a truly inspirational feat.

Extra Mile Day effectively came about as a result of Anderson’s daring bicycle ride. “The idea for Extra Mile Day was evolving in the back of my mind before the tour began,” continues Anderson. “Grinding it out along that stretch of highway reinforced that if you’re going to commit to a goal, commit all the way,” he adds. “Going the extra mile is about choosing to quit complaining about all that is wrong in our lives, and instead, taking action and initiating the change we desire.”

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