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Local Young Cyclist Prepares to Bike across U.S. to Benefit Affordable Housing

Written By Timothy Knight on 1/2/15 | 1/2/15

This summer, Sophie Connor is joining Bike & Build, a national nonprofit committed to raising money and awareness for affordable housing, to ride her bicycle across the country with a team of 30 other young adults on the Northern United States route.

The journey will begin on June 13, when Sophie will report to Portsmouth, NH. Over the next 10 weeks, the Northern US team will pedal an average of 69 miles per day to Vancouver, BC and the Pacific Ocean, arriving August 27. Along the way, the riders will participate in volunteer build days with 10 different affordable housing organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, and small local housing nonprofits to help build affordable homes for families in need. Riders will build in towns like Buffalo, Madison, Minot (ND), and Whitefish (MT), among others. They will also advocate for the need for affordable homes for all Americans in the many host communities and pass- through towns along the way.

“I really feel like this trip is going to have a monumental impact, both on my life and the lives of others,” Sophie says. “It’s such a great opportunity to get involved in charity work. Plus, I can’t wait to see the countryside from the vantage point of a bike!” Sophie must fundraise at least $4,500 to support the trip. Much of that money is then donated to affordable housing organizations. The 2014 Northern US team donated $67,600; Bike & Build is confident the 2015 team can repeat or exceed that total. To support Sophie, visit her fundraising page at http://bikeandbuild.org/rider/7979. You can also mail a check to Bike & Build and write “Sophie Connor” in the memo.

“We are deeply proud of riders like Sophie who are so committed to the affordable housing cause that she is willing to raise much-needed funds and spend over two months biking across the country,” said Justin Villere, Bike & Build’s Director of Operations and Outreach. “Bike & Build provides the opportunity, but it is the riders who make the lasting impact in so many communities.”

The Northern US route is one of eight cross-country trips Bike & Build offers each summer. In total, roughly 300 18-to-28 year old riders will see and experience first-hand the affordable housing need in this country. In addition to volunteering with construction efforts at affordable housing sites, riders also meet with local officials and community members to discuss affordable housing issues. Riders will sleep in local churches, community centers, and schools, and will rely on the generosity of hundreds of community members for food, showers, and other necessities. When the trip is complete, many Bike & Builders have gone on to continue their commitment to service through their career choices or further volunteering.

Based in Philadelphia, Bike & Build is a non-profit organization that encourages young adults to address the country’s affordable housing crisis through organized bicycle trips. Trip participants support the affordable housing cause by fundraising and building efforts. Since its founding in 2003, Bike & Build has motivated over 2,600 young adult volunteers and contributed over $5.1 million and 185,000 volunteer hours to housing groups such as Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together to fund projects in the United States. For more information, visit www.bikeandbuild.org or call (267) 331-8488.
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