A lot of people have asked me if I am going to raise money for something. I’m not. I don’t really see the connection between me doing this and you giving to a charity because of it. Besides, I am doing this because I want to. I think it will be awesome, amazing, and fun. I am doing it for me. I never understood the connection between raising money for charity and doing athletic feats (cycling, swimming, running, etc.). I know that other people do them, and they raise a lot of money doing them, but I just don’t get it.
HOWEVER, if you are somehow inspired by this trip and have a desire to give to some charities. These are three that I support wholeheartedly. I encourage you to give to them not because I am riding my bike really far, but because they do amazing things. You are on this page already, so go ahead and read a little more about them. You may decide that you’ll want to start donating to them as well.
DGW is a charity from Athens, Georgia that was inspired by an amazing kid with Duchenne muscular distrophy. Darius Weems is bright, fun-loving, and generous, but his life is also greatly affected by a fatal and debilitating disease. In 2005, he and some friends took an amazing journey west to try and “pimp” his wheelchair. They turned their adventure into a heartwarming and inspiring documentary, and they are still active in raising money and awareness for this disease. They have also developed programs and curricula so teachers can use their film in their classes. I encourage all of you to watch this film and make a donation. They have a great web site that explains more about their movement and cause.
Kiva allows you to give money to entrepreneurs all over the world. You make a loan, a loan agency uses your cash to give out your loan, and then (hopefully, usually) you get your money back. Microfinancing has been big in development for some time now, and it was all the rage a few years ago when Yunnus won his Nobel Price. I believe in the idea that people have ideas and determination, but they often lack the financial capital. With Kiva, you can provide that missing link. You get to “pick” a person to donate too (although this isn’t exactly who your money goes to, it kinda goes to them) and follow the progress of their venture. At the end, you will most likely get all of your money back. You can either get it back from Kiva or re-invest.