In case you have not yet heard, Optum p/b KBS is partnered with a great non-profit organization called World Bicycle Relief this season!
World Bicycle Relief provides bicycles to people around the world with the idea that increased mobility leads to increased access to healthcare, education, and economic development opportunities. Bicycles improve productivity by cutting down on transit time, and they also increase one’s carrying capacity.
World Bicycle Relief was founded by SRAM in 2005 after the catastrophic Indian Ocean Tsunami. Partnering with aid organizations, they distributed 24 000 bikes in Sri Lanka to help people rebuild their lives. Following this success, they went on to distribute 23 000 bikes to healthcare workers in Zambia, a country where 40% of the population is impacted by HIV/AIDS, in order for them to treat patients more easily.
The program has expanded to include work in microfinance, education, social enterprise and field mechanic training programs across Africa. A lot of structure has been put into place to help ensure the success of the program, with a large focus on collaborating with local communities. An example is their mechanic training program. To ensure bikes stay usable, spare parts are provided and locals trained to be mechanics!
My teammates have been doing a great job organizing fund-raising events this year. If you are in Bend, Oregon for the Cascade Classic be sure to check out the upcoming silent auction fundraiser on July 22nd!
I will not be in Bend, but the women of Winnipeg should come out to the Velodonnas 'Ride with a Pro' WBR fundraiser ride. Ride will be at 7 pm, Monday July 23rd, meet at King's Park. Ride will be fun and casual, just bring a small donation.
If you can't make it out to either of these events but would still like to support a great cause, donations are still welcome and appreciated http://action.worldbicyclerelief.org/page/outreach/view/kbs-team-fundraiser/leahkirchmann
You have probably experienced the feeling of freedom and endless possibilities a bicycle provides; please consider giving this opportunity to another person. Bicycles can be very powerful tools for change!