May I introduce you to Ashley? She is a rare breed.
She graduates this year from the University of Georgia. Recently she discovered that her county makes up the third most impoverished area of our state. Instead of just feeling badly about it—she decided to do something.
She plans to bicycle across America from Washington state (Seattle) to Washington D.C. over seven weeks time. Yep, you read that right. She is making this ride with a group of other people who are raising money to end “poverty housing” in America. Our family is one of her sponsors. Ashley has been training for this ride, while going to school full time and working full time. (It makes me tired just thinking about it!)
The bike trip covers 3,600 miles, which requires them to ride between 60-100 miles each day this summer. In addition to the ride, they’ll stop once a week in a city—but not to rest. They will be building a house all day in some needy area. They will also be speaking to local residents about the great need for housing for low-income families in our nation. It’s a new kind of triathlon: biking, building and speaking.
What I love most about Ashley, however, is her attitude. She doesn’t claim to be some stellar athlete. She said she simply feels “responsible to do something about the problems around her.” She told me recently, “I wanted to do justice to all the people who’ve invested in me as a young person.” As I probed, she revealed her heartfelt longings:
“I wanted to do something big before I graduated. I wanted to optimize my experience during college and give back, not just get by. I wanted to push myself to do something I wouldn’t normally do…and have nothing to look forward to each day but good, hard work.”
Excuse me, Ashley? Did I hear you correctly? Did you just say you were looking forward to doing something that represented good, hard work? Hmmm. I rarely hear people say that who are 42 years old, much less 22.
What’s impressive is—she has invested so much in this project already, herself. She didn’t buy groceries for over a month to get the equipment she needs for the ride. She even saved up her own money to get a bike. Further, 100% of the donations she raises go directly to the project, not for her own needs. She told me that she doesn’t need any money, but that she wants it all to go to real, needy people who do. Ashley is one third of the way toward her goal of $3,600.
If you’d like to join me in helping Ashley raise her money, go to: www.fullercenter.org/bikeadventure. Just include her name (Ashley Moore) as you submit your donation.
Regardless of whether you get involved—celebrate with me this Generation Y leader who chose not to whine about a problem, but to invest her life to solve it. I love it.