WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three young men arrived on the steps of the United States Capitol building Monday afternoon after riding 3,400 miles across America.
James Richfield, JD Hartwig and Brennon Mobley began their nearly eight-week journey on bicycles in Portland, Oregon on May 15. But they weren’t just biking cross-country for the experience and obvious bragging rights, they were “Riding With A Reason.” The ultimate goal of this biking trip was to raise awareness for an organization known as 147 Million Orphans.
This organization was founded in order to help children impacted by the orphan crisis in Honduras, Uganda and Haiti. After the three bikers visited a small village called Mt. Olivos in Honduras, and saw the vulnerable village children, they decided it was time to make a difference.
The children’s need for a school in Mt. Olivos, Hondurus “struck a chord” with Richfield, Hartwig and Mobley. “Being students ourselves, we wanted the kids in Hondurus to have the same opportunities as us,” Mobley told The Daily Caller.
The team of three biked through rain, hail and shine. Some times were harder than others, but others’ generous acts ultimately got them through. The encouragement and “overwhelming kindness” from host families, strangers, family and friends powered them the whole time.
There was one act of kindness that stuck out in particular. While in Montana, the bikers were cycling a strenuous ride when a stranger drove by, made a u-turn in his car, and gave them water. The stranger explained that the closest town was 20 miles away, and he wanted to make sure they had enough water to last them during their trek. Little did he know, the guys’ water bottles were very low.
“This experience has shown me how generous and kind people are,” Richfield said. “Acts of random kindness were repeated throughout the entire experience.”
Riding With A Reason had a helpful entourage that joined them along their way. The “support crew,” Jefferson Brown and Jenkins Brown, followed the main three in a van which carried camping supplies and other important equipment.
Riding With A Reason has raised approximately $50,000, which was their original goal, though donations are still encouraged. To make a donation, go to their website or simply send a text to Give @ 34444 with the words “give 147million $10”, or any amount to help build a school in Honduras.
“We’re just riding bikes,” Hartwig said. “We did something simple that everyone can relate to, just on a bigger scale.”
Richfield, Hartwig and Mobley are planning their visit to St. Olivos, Hondurus to help build the school soon.
— Team (@ridewithareason) June 29, 2014