When the media talks about the Sharing Economy they often harp on the financial and legality issues or the experiences went wrong. What we quickly began to notice as we started using more and more Sharing services is that people use Sharing for far more than just the money. As we met many of these incredible people we felt like we should do some sharing of our own.

That’s why today we are kicking off a series we’re calling The Many Untold Sharing Economy Stories (M.U.S.E.S.) where we share the awesome people we’ve met while using Sharing Economy services like Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber. Sometimes they even let us take their photos!

Lyft Lotto: We met Andy in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. We often talk about the ridesharing controversy and climate with our drivers. They often have an inside perspective we appreciate and are animated when discussing the controversy and their stance. However, when we brought this up with Andy he deflected by saying, “I don’t know anything about the ridesharing controversy. I’m just out here trying to make some extra cash for Christmas presents and put smiles on people’s faces”. This gave us a little glimpse into what Sharing is doing for him. Andy then proceeded to turn on the Christmas lights that were stealthily lining the roof of the car and declare that we were on “Lyft Lotto” a game show without cameras or an audience that runs from the time we get in the car to the time we get out. We won lottery tickets by answering Nashville trivia which also gave us some local knowledge as a bonus. We left the car with big smiles and some scratchers.

The Army Vet: In Nashville we ran into a lot of military heroes. We took a ride with an active duty soldier who told us he was using Lyft to help assimilate back into civilian life after serving multiple tours overseas. By driving around and talking to his riders he is able to slowly make this essential transition back into society. There is often an insufficient infrastructure for these heroes and if ridesharing can help them and also be a source of income then everybody wins!

The School Teacher: Early into our home sharing travels we stayed with an Airbnb host named Bill. He was awesome and gave us a really great stay at his home in Massachusetts, U.S.A. Bill picked us up at the train station and gave us a tour of the neighborhood on the way back to his place. Through our conversations with him we found out that he’s a big Airbnb advocate in his town and often goes to town hall meetings to rally local hosts and coax the local government into accepting and enabling other people who want to start hosting on Airbnb. He also takes this work ethic to school where he works extra hard to give his students the opportunities he feels they deserve to succeed even if it takes him past his designated work day.

There are all kinds of awesome people out there who are Sharing and we are looking forward to sharing more of the M.U.S.E.S we’ve met with you over the coming weeks.

The Coral Team