So many people are wondering exactly what my plans are for this epic bike tour that I am planning on doing; so I thought I would start blogging about it. Obviously, I'm not leaving right now so for now I will keep everyone up-to-date on my training and how fundraising is going.
This idea got stuck in my head a few weeks ago when I went to the Lied center here in Lincoln to hear Ben Skinner speak at the Global Issues Conference about slavery in the world today. He is the author of a crime so monstrous and has traveled all over the world to find people who are in slavery today and write their individual stories to help raise awareness of this issue. Just like Stalin said: "1 million dead men is a statistic, but 1 dead man is a tragedy." Hearing him speak got me really fired up. There is more slavery in the world today then there has ever been in earths history. The actual number is right around 27 million slaves today. That is insane. This is an issue that we have swept under the rug because although its everywhere its "nowhere". Since we don't see people selling other people on the corner of the street we assume they aren't being sold anywhere, and this is where we are so wrong and so nieve.
After hearing him speak I realized that I don't want to just be aware of this issue but I want to be an activist. I want to help stop this issue. That night I couldn't sleep one wink and I kept thinking about a way that I could get involved. I got up since I couldn't sleep and was fiddling around with trying to get a plane ticket home for christmas and couldn't find any for less then $500 and was frustrated. I thought jokingly that: oh, i should just ride my bike home for christmas because that'll be cheaper. And then it hit me! This was how I could get involved. I decided that I would ride my bike home for christmas, from NE to FL, and that I would do presentations, ect. to help raise awareness and sponsorships for this endeavor.
When I shared this idea with Mr. Blake he told me about this organization based right here out of Lincoln called Tiny Hand International (tinyhandsinternational.org). This organization is awesome because all the money they raise goes strait to stopping women from being trafficked across the boarder of Nepal into India. They literally have people standing on the boarder that watch people come and go and have the right to stop and question people who look suspicious or have a girl with them that looks like she shouldn't be with them. They have rescued thousands of girls. I met with Paul Yates who heads things up here on this end in Lincoln and he shared with me their vision. It is a Christian based non-profit organization and they not only stop these girls from being trafficked they also have 8 children's homes that they are able to place up to 15 kids in at a time. They also have a home for street boys so that they don't grow up to end up being traffickers.
I am very excited about doing this tour to sponsor Tiny Hands. I still don't know exactly how we are going to do it but I am thinking about asking people to either sponsor me per mile that I ride or to do a $20 dollar sponsorship since that's how much it costs to help stop a girl from being trafficked across the boarder.
As far as the biking goes I have begun training and have been riding everyday. I'm trying to get some gear sponsorships from local bike stores so that it won't cost much. I am getting a touring bike since the bike I have isn't made for such a long journey. My friend Travis G. will be flying here from maine to do the ride with me. We will leave Lincoln on Dec. 17th and hopefully arrive in Tampa by Jan. 3rd.
If you want to sponsor this journey to help stop slavery please feel free to contact me through this blog or at my email firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for more updates coming soon. =)