Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why We Ride.

Current location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Distance cycled to date: 5695 km
Time until Christmas: 25 sleeps

By this time, all of you likely know that we're riding our bikes from Canada to Argentina. (We've used that line quite a few times). We thought we should tell you why.

The idea was first born more than 4 years ago, as a dream to complete one day. In September of 2007, we decided that this was something that we really needed to do. We began planning; we were going to ride our bikes to Argentina, leaving the following September. Of course, we love traveling and thought that this would be an amazing way to see so much of the world. But we also felt compelled to do our part to help those in the world less fortunate than us. Being raised in Canada, we have been blessed with a future full of endless possibilities; we realize however that the majority of people in the world don’t have this same privilege. Furthermore, we believe that it’s our responsibility as the wealthy of the world to do whatever we can to change this. We wanted to undertake this bicycle journey in order to inspire and encourage those around us, coming from such privileged areas of the world, to do what we can to make a difference.

We knew that we wanted to find an international development agency to raise money for and so we began a detailed search of the many deserving organizations in existence. We finally found HOPE International, based out of New Westminister, BC, and were instantly impressed with the organization. First off, from a financial perspective the organization is outstanding – with only four percent of their income going to administration and advertising costs, they are the best financially managed international development agency that we found. In addition, all of their projects focus on sustainable development in the true sense of the term. All monies being donated are put into locally organized projects, with local labour being used in order to further economic development. From our first contact with HOPE International we have been impressed with their professionalism and dedication to their cause of helping the “poorest of the poor”. We were presented the opportunity to raise money for a project in the Dominican Republic, rebuilding community greenhouses and irrigation systems and we committed to raise $50,000 for this project. Thus, the ride for HOPE was born.

We have now cycled from Canada to the very tip of the Baja peninsula of Mexico. Along the way we have tried to reach as many people as possible, sharing our vision for this trip, and our vision of doing whatever we can to improve the lives of so many people who have so much less than us. All of the money being raised is donated directly to HOPE International, with nothing being raised for our trip. We are not looking for a free vacation – rather, we are focused on helping those who cannot help themselves. We dream of doing whatever we can to better the world, and believe that this is a good first step in our lifelong goal of changing the world. As we set forth onto the mainland of Mexico and Latin America we are excited and optimistic about the challenges and rewards from cycling through these foreign countries. We believe that through this adventure and our continued media contact and online documentation of the trip we can continue to raise the money needed to give the people of the San Jose de Ocoa region in the Dominican Republic a chance to rebuild their lives and break free of the cycle of poverty that so many in the world currently have no chance to get out of.

With Christmas right around the corner, and the evidence of our affluence being displayed in shop windows and down the street, we wanted to remind you all why we're on this adventure. We would like to thank all of you who have already contributed to our HOPE International project, and we'd like to encourage everybody, in this season of giving and of love to consider our ride for HOPE. Our website is set up with a link to donate online at HOPE International's website. It's all set up with a secure server so that you can make a donation with your credit card, right online. You can just select "other" under the dropdown menu, and type "ride for HOPE" in the comment section. This will ensure that the money you donate goes straight to our project (as well as going towards our $50,000 goal)

If you receive this as an email - feel free to forward it on. If you're just reading this online - we hope you'll share it. We think that this is something that you should tell everybody that you know about.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I've been doing as much armchair fundraising as I can from here; just last night I told some friends of ours all about your trip , and they seemed really interested in helping out. I just thought I'd share that with you, in the hopes it'd earn me another email ;).