“Are you named Elizabeth Gallagher (and Canadian)? Want a free plane ticket around the world?”
With that Reddit post, Jordan Axani of Canada started a viral sensation that is either the biggest “up your’s” to an ex-girlfriend ever, or a brilliant basis for a new charity.
The coolest part is, it may be both.
Jordan Axani and Elizabeth Gallagher were a couple. Jordan bought tickets for a three-week trip around the world for himself and his lady. Then they broke up. Trouble is, Jordan couldn’t get refunds on the tickets, and they were non-transferrable. Only someone named Elizabeth Gallagher from Canada could use that other ticket.
So Jordan popped that post onto Reddit. Eighteen Canadian women named Elizabeth Gallagher vied for the tickets. In the end, Elizabeth Gallagher got them — of course — Elizabeth Quinn Gallagher from Nova Scotia.
“It was a very long process,” Gallagher recalled. She had to fill out a very long questionnaire and submit to a Skype interview with Jordan and his brother.
“I almost dropped out,” she said, “until they mentioned the charity that they’re doing. I wanted to be involved in that, so I jumped back in.”
The charity she mentioned is now called A Ticket Forward, and it aims to be a Make a Wish Foundation-type charity with a focus on travel.
“It’s for deserving people who would like to travel and have never had the opportunity,” Gallagher explains.
“A Ticket Forward is a charitable movement that brings together donors, brands, and organizations to fund and facilitate the travel dreams of those who need it most. Founded in 2014 by philanthropist and world-traveller Jordan Axani, A Ticket Forward believes that travel is transformative; it means the world. By leveraging the power of storytelling and the latest in crowdsourcing technologies, we provide individuals who have suffered from health, financial, and other tangible misfortunes with the travel experience of a lifetime.”
“I’ll be the first person to say that [the original post was weird],” Axani admits, “but on the back side we had an incredible response which I never would have anticipated of people that haven’t had the chance to go on trips like this.”
In fact, Jordan has put much more focus on launching the charity than on the viral story behind it. He is looking for good people to help launch the whole thing. It appears that the money is handled:
“A Ticket Forward operates as a 501(c)(3) charity in the State of California, under the fiscal sponsorship of the Edward Charles Foundation, with teams in LA, Toronto and New York.”
Now he just needs to get the word out.
But as for the trip, Jordan insists that he has no designs on Gallagher, that the trip is completely as friends, and not even necessarily together.
“My original post remains true to this day,” Jordan said. “All I wanted was someone to take the ticket and just go and enjoy themselves. Whether we travel together, or spend any time together, is totally irrelevant to me.”
Jordan said that the original Elizabeth Gallagher has contacted him since the whole thing started, but he did not reveal what was said between them.