DEARBORN HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN
Megan’s schedule has not allowed her to participate in as many Bicycle Adventure events as she wished she could. But the virtual Global Home Challenge is something she can fit into her schedule.
I feel extremely privileged and thankful to have traveled a few thousand miles with the Fuller Center Bike Adventure over the past decade. I’ve learned that maybe I don’t LOVE biking (thanks donors and fcba friends that have kept me pedaling) but I love the Fuller Centers quest of providing adequate shelter for ALL people worldwide. I think myself and most of us reading this have spent many extra hours in our homes over the past few months. Can you imagine not having a home during this time? I keep repeating this phrase and it legit makes me cringe and want to cry in the corner.
Time off work and logistics of traveling for a week/summer of the FCBA kept me away for a few years (just not always in the cards). When I heard about the Tour de Florida trip and I realized it was 10 years since I hopped on the saddle and traveled Michigan to Florida… I couldn’t get it off my mind. The timing of the trip lined up with a few days of shut down at work and it was just meant to be. I could not stop thinking about the houses we painted in Indy, the insulation we installed in Louisville, the handicapped ramp and deck we built, the roof for Miss Alice and all the other families we assisted along the way … all while traveling by a bicycle seeing the countryside and speaking about the need for affordable housing in our communities.
I’m going to be honest: Traveling by a bicycle seeing America at a slower pace is amazing. However, for me, it sounds more amazing than it is. I love biking, I love the idea of biking across America with great people and it is a GREAT experience. But it is not a easy thing for me. However, traveling in a group of bright orange jerseys through small quaint communities and big city downtowns presents the opportunity to see the housing crisis in our own country and provides you the opportunity to share and present information on the Fuller Center for Housing.
People are intrigued by all the orange jerseys flying past that are not the regular bike trips and the exposure the Fuller Center gets by traveling. I used to think it was oversharing or rude when you just tell everyone about something. However; during these trips it has taught me that actually you’re doing someone a dis-service by not telling them things that are important to you. If it serves you, it might serve someone else as well and you could be holding back that opportunity for them.
So why the Fuller Center Global Home Challenge? Why would I not?
Well I don’t have the excuse of being able to get time off work — I’m fortunate to be working still… but I feel that is why it is EVEN more important to be doing for others. I don’t have the time in my schedule to commit to 70 miles a day. However; I CAN make time for a few hours a day to participate FROM HOME. It is a challenge still. But we can all make it our own challenge that fits our lifestyle. Every mile and every dollar can make a difference. I learned this by NOT participating in a “week” of a trip. I’m always happy with ANY size donation. TIME is the same. I’ve learned that. And my time can make a difference. You just have to not compare.
I don’t have to figure out the logistics of traveling to and from different locations — I have to figure out the logistics of fitting the miles into my week, routes and etc. But not the traveling to and from locations. I don’t have the stress of pre-planning, paying bills, suspending services for while gone and all that jazz.
It would be a DISSERVICE to others to NOT participate in an adventure/challenge that I could make work for an organization that my values align with. Time/Logistics are on my SIDE. I have no excuse to NOT share the Fuller Center for housing mission from HOME for HOMES. I understand a key piece of the FCBA is fundraising and spreading the word. I can do both of that right here in my own community. I can help the Fuller Center travel virtually across the world and also educate myself (my teammates, my donors and strangers) about the housing conditions of where we currently are virtually and where we are traveling to. Because of this I’m leading a team. Together we might not be top fundraisers YET. But we are spreading the message one mile at a time. It might not be a train of orange jersey’s traveling by on bikes. But we sure can create the buzz online together. Just because trips are cancelled does NOT mean the need for safe affordable housing disappears.
I just can’t fathom regular life w/out safe affordable housing. I definitely can’t fathom a pandemic life w/out a home. This has pushed me to learn more and do more.
These three quotes from Walt Disney fit this perfectly! “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing;” “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable;” and “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Don’t think your mile walk and or $1 donation is not enough. EVERYTHING can help share the message and make a difference. Keep on pushing on and together we can make a difference. #fromhomesforhomes
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