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In the past 30 years, Tom Trout has brought Jacksonville, Florida, 32,000 messages of hope and positivity. Instead of pushing his own business, Tom Trout, Inc., Trout chooses to use his own advertising space to send messages that, in some cases, have saved lives.
Every week Trout changes the sign, which overlooks the I-95. “I’ve gotten letters from people saying it saved their lives when they were in a dark place, and it inspired them to rethink what they were doing,” he says.
Many in the community now look forward to seeing the new billboard on their commute each week, and Trout looks forward to how his small messages of hope can uplift someone.
“It is something to look forward to,” Trout said. “I know the messages have touched people driving by on the highway, and it has made a difference in people’s lives.”
But Trout doesn’t come up with the messages all on his own. He takes suggestions, too. If you’re a Floridian and want to make a suggestion, you can do so here.