Sunday, 30 November 2014

"They Are Lost: An Honest Project"

I have a separate tab on my blog for lost items.
Things that have fallen out of pockets or back-packs or little hands and landed on the ground in Finland.
I know I'm terrible at updating that tab regularly and thought I would post it on my Instagram instead with the hashtags of "#theyarelost  #theyarelostJKL".
I don't know how far that went - but on my private Facebook account - I try to sneak the computer from my husband and update that album as much as I can. 
But this past month has been a doozy and I haven't updated anything really.
We'll talk about that later - I need to get this finished!

I should start from the beginning.
I've lived in Finland for 5 years and have always noticed and appreciated the honesty of Finns and other locals.
I walk a lot (and more recently take the bus) and am constantly amazed at the amount of mittens (both single and pairs), hats, toys and keys I find!  They're placed nicely on benches at the bus stop, on top of garbage cans, hanging from a bush or tree so a dog (or cat) won't pee on them and so they can be found.

A year and a half ago after a trip to Wales - I was so sure we lost a red rubber fleece-lined boot of A-Man's.  They were an awesome pair of boots and were well-loved and despite child #2 wearing them - were just as good as new.
Well, I was sad and tossed out the single boot we had, after weeks of looking for its mate.  Guess what?  That little red boot was tucked up high in a tree - two neighbourhoods away.  On a street I don't frequent often but anyways, there it was.
I've lost my warmest pair of mittens last year on the bus - I got those back in a day.
My friend forgot her back pack - complete with passport, wallet, money, visa on a bus - she got that back too.
My Halloween 2014 was spent searching for my bright orange wallet.  I went back to A-Man's day-care three times following the exact same route, went back hiking the same route I took the dogs, checking the police station and no luck.
I cancelled my bank cards and worried for a week.  I wrote about what it was like to lose your wallet in Finland.
Most amazing thing is that I got it back and nobody even used my freshly-loaded bus card either!  That's honesty.

Despite me not updating everything with photos I was still getting Facebook messages and text messages and yes, Whatsapp messages, with photos of lost things found from friends!  I still do!
I decided that this amazing honesty needs to be recognized and spread around!  Friends were telling me it was an awesome idea and I'm overwhelmed at how my little personal obsession of taking quick snap shots of lost things became so interesting to many!
What else can restore someone's faith in humanity - than finding their lost item, exactly as they were found?

I've found and snapped photos of:
  • Wallets, keys, backpacks, tote bags
  • Toys - stuffed animals, toy cars, baby rattles, soothers/dummies/pacifiers
  • Gloves, hats, shirts, underwear...
The list continues to grow everyday!
So I created a Facebook group called "They Are Lost: An Honest Project".
I want anyone interested in joining me for this little adventure to join the group and share your stories of lost things you've found by posting photos into the albums!
Albums are labelled by country the item was found in.  Unfortunately not alphabetical because every time an album is updated - it gets "bumped up".
It's so easy!

1.  Take a photo of something lost you see on your walk or bike ride or bus ride - however you travel...and post it in the album where you found it (i.e. New Zealand). 
2.  Add a description to the photo - where did you find it?  What is it?  If you're bringing it to the police/local authorities/taxi-driver or bus driver - which location? 
3.  Pat yourself on the back - you're awesome.

It's not a place for hate or spam or's a place to announce you lost your keys, your phone, your medical warning bracelet, your wallet, your passport, your child's favourite toy, your backpack...and hopefully - it can be a place for you to find your lost item too.


PS If you use Instagram and post your photos of items found there - be sure to # with
#theyarelost and again with your city's abreviation - then hopefully someone may search there!

I.e: #theyarelostHK   #theyarelostJKL  #theyarelostNY #theyarelostRM
Hong Kong, Jyväskylä, New York, Rome

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