Jul 29

Print this Post

The Hope Van

I have just returned home from a truly remarkable experience.  This is one of those “someone is guiding my steps” moments.

This afternoon I went to the grocery store for my weekly shopping.  To get home, I needed to pull out of the parking lot onto a little access road that is shared with WalMart.  I noticed something odd – all of the cars on the access road were slowing down to almost nothing as they passed a van sitting on the edge of the WalMart parking lot.  I’ll admit to momentary impatience, thinking, “Why can’t you just go a normal speed so I can pull out?”

Then I got my head screwed back on straight and looked at what they were staring at.  It was a brightly colored van with a very clear message: “If you have a pulse, you have a purpose.”

I thought – very cool.  I’ll have to remember that!  Gee, I wish I had my camera with me.  That would make a great picture for The Miracle Journal.

I was entirely prepared to go home and get food ready for the week, but I couldn’t ignore the little voice in my head saying, “Get your camera at home and go back to WalMart.”

Thank goodness I listened.  I took some pictures:



I pulled out a Miracle Journal postcard and wrote a thank you note, thinking I’d put it under the windshield wiper.

I discovered there was a woman in the van with her two dogs.  Her name is Dorina and she has been traveling cross-country from Arizona on a mission to bring people hope.

We ended up talking for quite a while.  She gave up her home and business in Arizona to buy the van and go out on the road.  She’s living on faith and donations from people who have been inspired by her message.  And she thinks that northern New Hampshire will be her new home.

She’s got amazing stories from her trip – the young woman who talked to her one day and then emailed her later to say thank you because that was the day she was planning to commit suicide; thanks to Dorina and The Hope Van, she changed her mind.  The man who met her just after learning that his son has cancer and was so grateful for her message that he gave her enough money to cover several days worth of gas.

In addition to the pulse/purpose quote, her van has a big message of “HOPE” across the front (which for some reason I don’t have a picture of), the words “I don’t need easy, I just need possible!”, and much more.

I am so grateful to that little voice that was insistent that I get my camera and go back out.  If I hadn’t, I never would have met Dorina and her van would have been a simple momentary curiosity.

Now I feel like I’ve met a fellow traveler.  I marvel at how rushed I felt earlier today to get so much stuff done, and yet in that moment of connection there was nowhere else I would have rather been.  Anything else I had to do became inconsequential in the face of this amazing gift.

If you’d like to find out more about Dorina and her journey, go to http://www.facebook.com/IfYouHaveAPulseYouHaveAPurpose

About the author

Leah Carey

Leah Carey is the Chief Miracle Officer of The Miracle Journal, where she writes about the large and small miracles that happen in her life every day. She is a life coach, speaker, journalist, freelance writer, and lover of life. In all of those pursuits, she works with people to identify what’s already right in your life so you can build an even more joyful and fulfilling daily experience from that foundation. You can find her on Facebook, , Twitter, and YouTube.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.leahcarey.com/themiraclejournal/2012/07/29/the-hope-van/


  1. Mary Northrop

    I had the same experience with Dorina on Saturday! A very interesting and brave woman – thanks for writing about her, Leah.

  2. Denise Wolf

    Heartwarming story.
    thanks so much for going back to get you camera.

  3. Don

    Thanks for going back:
    My story of Dorina Groves goes back to the years 1999/2000 when she helped my company market in the motorcycle industry, specifically The 4-Stroke National Motocross Series. Such a trooper, such an enthusiast. We lost contact with one another in around 2007 and thanks to Facebook we just re-connected about a month ago, February 2014. She placed your story on her timeline and I am fortunate to have the link to this story and photo! So, we come across people in our lives and in our careers that make a difference, correct? Well, she made a difference. She made am impact so much that in this world of remembering what bad things people do, I can not recall one bad thing that ever happened, it was all positive. She does that with grace.

Comments have been disabled.