UPDATE - WE HIT £1000! Thank you all SO much, for the support and donations. THE SEARCH IS OFF and it's time for this bumbling romantic/stalker (you decide!) to sign off. Best wishes, Keir x
The story so far: On the train back to Bristol from Cardiff last week, a gorgeous girl in my carriage really caught my eye. We barely spoke but, when she left, I regretted not speaking to her more - and asking her out. When I was driving home with my mate, I mentioned my regret and he said "well, you know what they say, you're never more than 3 people away from who you want to know"… half an hour later, and perhaps against my better judgement, I set up this Facebook group to see if my mate's theory was true - to see if I could find the Mystery Train Girl and get a second chance to ask her out…
…by the following evening, to my complete amazement, over 1,000 people had joined the group and many were leaving kind messages of support for my 'romantic' cause!
By Saturday morning, as the group approached 2,000 members, I started to feel like I wanted something good to come of all the attention, in case we didn't find the mystery girl (I was pretty sure we wouldn't). I decided to set up a JustGiving charity page and figured that if every member was willing to donate £1, we'd have a very real chance a raising close to £2,000 - a potentially wonderful outcome to an otherwise rather embarrassingly, self-indulgent quest. I chose Marie Curie Cancer Care - my sister works for them, and both our family and close friends have been affected by cancer, so it seemed like a natural choice.
Again, to my continued bewilderment, Sunday night saw the group fast approaching 10,000 members (including people from America, Australia, Malaysia, Greece and Dubai!!) and we were more than halfway towards the £500 target I had set for the JustGiving page. Whilst this was simply brilliant, it was also at this point that I started to worry about how big the group had become and that I was potentially forcing a lot of attention on this mystery girl - which wasn't fair. I figured it was possible that she did not want to be found (pretty understandable!) and that it was best to respect that. So, much to everyone's disappointment, I called off the search and let the mystery girl remain a mystery.
Since Sunday, the group has continued to grow (albeit more slowly now), and the donations have reached in excess of £800. A couple of local newspapers have also been in touch about this 'online fairy tale' (not my words!) and two nice chaps had written blog posts about it. What started as a bit of fun, with the smallest of hopes of really finding this mystery girl, grew into something far bigger and far more positive than I ever planned or imagined.
So, here we are, 13,324 members and £805.50 raised for charity at the time of writing. At this stage, I want to say the BIGGEST (THE BIIIIIGGEEEST) thank you I can muster to every single person who has shown support, left wonderful messages, and especially donated to Marie Curie. I am overwhelmed, bewildered, flattered and deeply humbled by the entire experience - it's been quite an adventure.
As for the mystery girl, I did receive several messages from people claiming to be 'her' but simply cannot tell if any are real. If she did find this group, I wanted to extend my apologies to her if I caused her any trouble as that was never my intention - I simply hoped for the chance to take her out. However, the search is over and it's time to respect her desire to remain a mystery.
Please, please do keep donating if you can - it would be amazing to see if we can reach £1000... but it's been a wild ride either way.
Wishing you all peace & progress, Keir x
Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=108534272523669