I like to think a squirrel really did fly it over the ocean.

SOMETIMES IT’S NOT only people who travel to do good. Books can too.

Like the artistic equivalent of the Olympic torch, the Sketchtravel project sent a little red sketchbook across the world, passing through the hands of 71 different illustrators on its way. The final product was auctioned for $96,000 – to be donated to the charity Room to Read.

We’ve covered Room to Read before in our list of 50 nonprofits making a world of difference, and it’s awesome to see that they will benefit from the project.

Image from Sketchtravel

The video that Sketchtravel put together to celebrate the return of the book is beautiful, and really brings home the idea that there are amazing ways to inspire people into participating in creative projects.

By simply putting an empty space – or in this case, sketchbook – out there and inviting people to make something beautiful in the room it affords, you can create something far larger and more engaging than a simple sponsorship deal.

It’s also an exercise in trust. In hoping that each person in the creative chain will not simply keep the project going, but that they will take it somewhere new. Up the creative energy a little, and pass the stoke on to the next recipient.

It’s true of the Sketchtravel project, but it’s also true of everyday encounters in projects of your own. Whether you’re trying to navigate around a strange country, or collaborating with others closer to home. Each one is a chance to make something new in a metaphorical red book of your own, then trust someone else with your work, and the challenge to do better.

Or, y’know – hand it to a wolf-mounted rabbit. That would make for a pretty neat story too.