Somewhere in the world right now as you read this at least one Warmshowers host and a touring cyclist are sharing a story and maybe a meal. A cyclist somewhere is gratefully nestling down into a warm dry bed while listening to a raging thunderstorm outside; thanks to the generous hospitality of a new friend. A Warmshowers host somewhere is grateful they can do it, their reward being the satisfaction of paying forward because someone has done the same for them.
I have always been amazed at the generosity of those who have hosted me as Warmshowers hosts. I have kept in contact with some of those hosts for years afterwards. I think that a Warmshowers host is proof that the world contains many many decent people despite the gloom and doom that I read in my news services every morning.
During 2018, we on the Board have discussed strategic directions, how to fend hackers off the site in an age when it is easy to be targeted, how to stabilize a complicated site with over a 122,000 users, how to better communicate what we are about , how to more efficiently answer the many many questions we are asked, how to raise funding to keep this all going and how to improve our financial budgeting, and all this with mostly volunteers and one paid part time staff member.
We are looking forward in 2019 and 2020 to having a stable site, allowing people to access our database in the ways that are most accommodating to them, having data on the site that lets touring cyclists access data that is reliable and enhancing our revenue generation and partnership opportunities.
Yes, there is a lot of work that can always use more hands, and sometimes it can seem overwhelming, but we never lose focus on the WHY we are doing this. And the WHY is simple. We facilitate human connection and friendship for people who pedal and those who generously support them.
A special thank you for all who donate their homes, their time, and their funds. You are building a world of a million stories of connection. Thank you!
Chairman of the Board