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kaneboats
08-13-2009, 10:51 AM
I don't usually stray too far from the subject on these boards but I wanted to share something with everyone. On July 10 about 20 bicyclists dipped the back wheels of their bikes in the waters of Lake Michigan and left Benton Harbor, MI for the Florida coast. It's a 1300 mile ride. On Sat. Aug. 15 they will dip the front wheels of their bikes in the Guf of Mexico.

The riders are trying to raise awareness about poverty housing and money for The Fuller Center For Housing. At many of the stops along the way the riders have been participating in work days to build or repair homes for the less fortunate.

The Fuller Center was started in 2005 by then 70 year old Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity. The mission is very similar. To use volunteers and resources to help the less fortunate get a decent, clean place to live.

Anyway, I'm on the founding Board of Directors for the Tallahassee Fuller Center for Housing, the chapter we started in my town last year. If anyone is looking for a quality service organization that does honest work and doesn't waste anything or if you know any young (or aging) people that might like to join in the Bike Adventure next year, you can see more about the Fuller Center and the Bike Ride here:

http://www.fullercenterbiketrip.com/

Sled491
08-13-2009, 12:45 PM
KB, good job. Get involved and stay involved. It often seems those with the busiest lives give back the most and are organized the best to get it done. way to go!

kaneboats
08-13-2009, 02:40 PM
Thanks, Sled. I appreciate the support. Here's a pic from when they reached the state line at lunch time today:

http://i535.photobucket.com/albums/ee356/kaneboats/Florida.jpg

Sled491
08-19-2009, 12:01 PM
Way to go team!! :)

kaneboats
08-19-2009, 02:02 PM
20 or so riders raised almost $80,000 to put toward working on distressed homes. It was great to be part of it.

I heard about one family last night where we are going to go do some work. It's a grandmother living in a two bedroom trailer and raising 4 grandchildren. They are good kids but the school gave us the referral because the kids who are usually clean have been coming to school dirty. Turns out the pipes in the home are broken and they can't bathe. Just makes you think about what we take for granted. We are going to do some repairs and also get them started in the process to build their own home with Habitat for Humanity.

I love these organizations that give a "hand up" instead of a "hand out". With the Fuller Center model the people get immediate assistance and are then encouraged to give back as they are able -- even if it's only $10-15 a month. Anything they give is used to help others. It lets them share in the joy of giving and lets them keep their dignity.

The Habitat model is to require sweat equity first for others and then on your own house-- then they pay a no interest mortgage. The first part makes them care about what they have built. The second part makes it doable. There's a reason this stuff works and those high rise inner city projects that are simply handed out do not work.

Sled491
08-20-2009, 12:07 AM
Great story, I hope it works out for the Grandmother. However as a parent makes me wonder where the heck are the parents :(