DAY 30: Why I’m trading SnapChat accounts with Ryan Pena || #StrubSnapSwaps

From Feb. 27 to April 16, Chris Strub will trade his Snapchat account with 50 different Snapchatters from around the globe. Add ChrisStrub on SnapChat to meet them all. During the 50 days, a portion of the proceeds from sales of Chris’s book will go to the nonprofits Chris visited during the #TeamStrub 50-state, 100-day journey. See the full list of NPOs that Chris visited here. On March 27, the nonprofit beneficiary will be RideAbility in Rochester, Minn.

You don’t know nice until you have friends in Minnesota. Enter Ryan Pena.

Across much of the United States, getting an email asking you to work on a Sunday for free might not be all too well-received.

But on Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Rochester, Minn., we did just that.

I visited RideAbility, a program a bit off the beaten path from the healthcare metropolis that is Med City. RideAbility serves families of adults and children with special needs, providing horseback riding and related activities.

I met Jim and Jeannie Michelizzi, a quintessential Minnesota couple who have poured their lives into their mission to bring joy to these families.

I was welcomed like a rock star by Jim and Jeannie, plus their volunteer photographer, a slew of volunteer youths, and a couple of parents who couldn’t have been happier. Never before at Rideability had someone with absolutely zero equine experience been such a special guest.

It was a fascinating day all around, as I had the very special opportunity to meet some super talented kids and learn the basics of mounting and sidewalking. We painted a horse, explored a sensory trail and had a truly splendid day in the sunshine — all accomplished on a Sunday, because it was the only day I could fit it on my complex, 100-day schedule.

Jim and Jeannie went above and beyond to help me accomplish my mission on a Sunday — and for their colleagues and friends in Minnesota, that would seem like the reasonable, friendly thing to do. Midwest hospitality is real, it’s genuine and it’s incredible.

It’s only fitting, then, that I have made the most unreasonable request of this whole project to Ryan Pena — the heart and soul of Minnesota.

Day 30 of #StrubSnapSwaps — remember, no days off! — is not only a Sunday — it’s Easter Sunday. For a family man like Ryan Pena, who works his everything off around the clock to be a great businessman and an even better Dad, Easter is obviously a day to relax, regroup and think about the most important things in life, before gearing up for another successful week beginning the next day.

On #StrubSnapSwaps Day 30 — Easter Sunday — you’ll meet Ryan Pena, who I have written about before as one of the 10 Snapchatters The World Needs to Know.

We’ll take it easy on him that day, but Ryan is a guy you’ll want to get to know 365 days a year. His knowledge and his selflessness is a dual testament to the size of his heart.

Ryan is one of those guys you just need to know. And I’m incredibly thankful to be among those who know him. I hope you will, too.

I can’t wait to meet Ryan’s friends on March 27.