WHY WE RIDE
Sarah wakes up every morning and runs to her parents’ bedroom to give her mother a morning hug. Next, she brushes her teeth, pours milk over her cheerios, gets dressed, and walks with her mother to the bus stop. All she can talk about is her birthday and how she can’t wait to turn eight years old. She rushes to get a window seat on the bus, waves goodbye, and then she and her mother blow kisses to each other, ending with their hands held up, making the age-old symbol of love—the sight of little fingers making a heart fades as the bus drives away. But the love Sarah has known since the day she was born doesn’t fade.
Nomi wakes up shivering and naked, lying next to a man she doesn’t know. A different man than the night before, and the night before that. Makeup smears her tear-stained cheeks and her eight-year old body aches all over. As the man steps away from the room, he tosses a few coins on the bed.
One day, someone hears Nomi’s cry and rescues her. She now lives in a special needs shelter with eight other girls. She has physical scars, and deep emotional scars from her abuse, which prevent her from being able to leave the shelter and reintegrate back into society. At the shelter, she is always the first to greet visitors, and she does so with a big smile. She is always the first to comfort girls who are new to the shelter.
Two different worlds.
And so many more stories like that of Nomi’s that no one knows, hears, or sees. But we know they are out there. Who will hear their cries? Who will rescue them? Who will be their hope?
Help us raise awareness and be a voice for the voiceless.
Help us raise funds to lift up those who suffer and give them tools, resources and education to live productive and meaningful lives.
Join us in changing lives. Help us to offer hope. Because HOPE changes everything.
ABOUT CYCLING FOR CHANGE (C4C)
Several years ago, when I, Santhosh Paulus, sat in a room full of professionals in New York City, the keynote speaker, Bill Hybels, asked a poignant question: “What wrecks you?”
As a doctor of Family Medicine, my oath is to champion good health and serve my patients. As a husband and father of four daughters, my first priority is to love and protect them. But as a citizen of this world, my responsibility is to leave this world a better place.
What wrecks me? That girls as young as my daughter Sarah are sold into slavery by their families, because poverty perpetuates a cycle of suffering.
How can one person break this cycle and effect change when an estimated 36 million people are enslaved in human trafficking? I needed to come up with something crazy that would stop people and make them ask me "Why?" Something that would raise awareness and funds and make a real impact.
One year ago, combining my passion for cycling and my desire to make a difference, I founded Cycling for Change (or C4C), a 501(c)3 charity, to raise awareness and funds to tackle the social justice issue of our generation, modern day slavery.
On June 29, 2015, a team of C4C cyclists will ride 3,400 miles from Seattle, WA to Long Island, NY in 34 days — to be a voice for the voiceless and offer hope for the hopeless.
Our goal is to raise money to provide critical tools, resources, and education to survivors and those at-risk for human trafficking. These funds will lift up those who have suffered, and help those at-risk by giving them tools to live productive and meaningful lives free of injustice and poverty.
This past December, I was diagnosed with HCM, a heart condition that will prevent me from riding the entire 3,400 mile route. While this has been very difficult, one thing has never wavered: my mission and C4C’s purpose. Young girls like Nomi still need our help.
Julian Valencia, Daniel Severino, and Arul Paulus-Rosenow, have been training for the last sixteen months to prepare for C4C’s epic journey. They will bike across the United States from Federal Way, WA to Locust Valley, NY. Michael Recupero will join our team for the final week from Chicago, IL to Locust Valley, NY. The remaining C4C Team members including myself, my wife and my kids will ride shorter distances throughout our journey.
I will also drive the SAG vehicle, supporting our team of cyclists as they ride an average of 100 miles a day for a total of 3,400 miles. Our pit crew (made up of family) will help to document the ride, and feed and care for the cyclists. This includes putting up tents, making lots of PB&J sandwiches, filling water bottles, and yes, washing dirty socks.
THE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS YOU'LL BE SUPPORTING WITH YOUR CONTRIBUTION
Our goal is to raise money to support two organizations that are on the front lines of the battle against poverty and human trafficking, namely World Vision and Nomi Network.
World Vision is a humanitarian organization that focuses on meeting the needs of children in poverty around the world by giving them education, medical aid, food and other resources. They are champions of children and provide critical support to prevent poverty and the root causes of human trafficking. They are actively working in the Greater New York City area, organizing health fairs and leading Youth Empowerment Programs to teach, support, and encourage at-risk teens and build leadership skills and a strong sense of community in the next generation.
Nomi Network is a New York City-based nonprofit organization that creates economic opportunities for survivors of human trafficking and women at-risk for human trafficking. They work with girls and women in Cambodia and India, giving them training, education, tools and resources to create beautiful products that they sell fashioned by top New York City designers from recycled and organic materials. Their trademark is "Buy her bag, not her body." Their heart beats for each woman. To live free. Thrive. And do much more than survive.
THE EXPERIENCES WE PLAN TO SHARE WITH YOU DURING OUR 3,400 MILE BICYCLE RIDE
On a weekly basis, we plan to give you an inside view into how the ride is going with:
1. Status updates, experiences, insights, and information shared through the Updates tab of this Campaign page! All Updates we post will be here for you to view and you will receive these Updates by email if you've contributed to our campaign or registered for one of our rides!
2. Stories and reflections shared through on our C4C blog
3. Photos, videos, and more shared through our social media pages - Follow us!
Snapchat: @c4c2015 and @meetduhjulian
CALLING ALL CYCLISTS - JOIN US FOR A RIDE AS WE MAKE OUR WAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY!
There are a total of 12 Rides we invite you to join us for. Our key events will occur in Seattle, Chicago, and Long Island, NY. The other events will be longer rides starting in towns and cities across the country.
Riding with us is free!
We want you to join us and spread the word. You can also be a BIG help by making a contribution and sending a link to this page to your friends!
Please note that by registering for any C4C event you accept the terms of C4C's Release of Liability
Together we can make a difference.
THE REWARDS YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR BY MAKING A CONTRIBUTION TO THIS CAMPAIGN!
See the right-hand side of this page for rewards that you are eligible for! We are offering a blend of one-of-a-kind experiential rewards (e.g. dinner with the CEO of Nomi Network, VIP tickets to our Gala Events, etc.) and tangible rewards!
See below for a summary of some of the tangible rewards that we are offering.Limited Edition C4C T-Shirt
: This soft, comfy, one-of-a-kind T-Shirt will have your friends saying “Where did you get that? I love it!”Light&Salt Cycling Apparel & Water Bottle
: L&S cycling apparel is superbly engineered cycling clothing that was created with utmost comfort and a love cycling in mind. You’ll also be proud to wear this clothing knowing that the proceeds raised will be used to help end human trafficking.Light&Salt Jersey
: This boutique handcrafted jersey has a full-zip front, three large rear pockets, and Coolmax technology to keep your temperature regulated even on the warmest days. It’s so comfortable you’ll want to wear it to the office.Light&Salt Bib Shorts
: These shorts are simply awesome. They have a silky smooth chamois that will make you jump for joy! They also feature super soft silicone leg grippers and 6-panel LycraPower construction that cradles your body and keep you strong when the miles get difficult. Once you try ‘em you won’t want to wear anything else.Light&Salt Water Bottle
: This is a high performance water bottle with closed cell foam technology to keep your water cold 2x as long as a standard bottle. It also has a patented spill-proof Jet Valve allowing you to hydrate without having to open or close the drinking interface. You’ll want to use this bottle for all of your rides. Swimming Through Clouds Book
: This beautifully written book by Award-winning author Rajdeep Paulus is a superb read for adults and young adults alike! Set in the Chicago suburbs, the story begins when a Post-it note sparks a sticky romance between two unlikely friends. It is a powerful social-justice focused fiction story that opens readers minds and delivers insights that will help to raise a new generation of world shakers and life changers. Swimming Through Clouds is about the silent sufferers and the power of hope through kindness. Once you start reading it, you won’t want to put it down! “… work of art” - USA TODAYNomi Network Limited Edition Tote
: This Nomi Network limited edition slogan tote is made by survivors of human trafficking. The Nomi Network slogan, “Buy her Bag, Not her Body” decorates this versatile shoulder bag and reminds those who see it how change happens and how valuable each person is in this world!Note
: All tangible rewards (e.g. C4C T-shirts, Light&Salt Cycling gear, Swimming Through Clouds book, Nomi tote, etc.) are expected to be fulfilled within 6 months of the end of this campaign! After the campaign ends we will reach out to you by email to get your size and/or color preference if applicable, and then we will begin packaging and shipping your rewards to you!
When and where does the ride start and finish?
The starting line is World Vision Headquarters in Federal Way, WA on Monday, June 29th at 9:00AM and the finish line is the Grenville Baker Boys and Girls Club in Locust Valley, NY on August 1st at 2:00PM. It will be a party! Hope to see you at the start and finish!
What route are you riding?
The route is detailed under "Route" on our website
. Cyclists will average more than 100 miles per day and they plan to take every 7th day off to rest.
How can I follow your ride on social media?
You can follow us at:
Snapchat: @c4c2015 and @meetduhjulian
Does Cycling for Change have any full-time paid staff? What if we have questions about the financials?
Cycling for Change does not, nor will it hire any staff or employees. Every hour spent working on C4C and related activities is volunteered to maximize the benefit for the causes we support. For financials, Form 990 is public and will be available in tax season 2016. Please email us if you have any questions regarding financials. One of our board members will be happy to talk with you.
Is my contribution tax deductible?
Yes, but only if you do not receive goods or services in exchange for your contribution. This means that if you want your contribution to be eligible for a tax deduction you cannot select a tangible reward (or perk) as part of your contribution. Please consult a qualified tax specialist if you have questions. Cycling for Change is a qualified 501(c)3 charitable organization. Cycling for Change’s Tax ID is 46-5471614.
Do you need volunteers to help?
Most of our events will be covered by our Pit Crew, but if you’re able to attend a ride or event and want to give us a hand, we won’t say no!
Are you accepting corporate sponsorships of gear, equipment, supplies etc.?
Check out all of our amazing sponsors in the Thank You section
of our website. We are grateful for all of the contributions, discounts, and services offered by these organizations. Currently, we are asking for financial contributions through this C4C campaign page for the charities we are supporting, World Vision and Nomi Network. You can help by navigating to the top of this page and clicking "Contribute Now".
Where can I learn more about Cycling for Change?
All you ever wanted to know about Cycling for Change can be found on our website
For personal stories of our journey, please visit our Blog
Do I need to agree to a waiver and release of liability if I register to ride with C4C?
For the inside scoop on all of our Chicago events, check out our Chicago website
Yes. By registering for or participating in any C4C event you accept and agree to the terms of C4C's Release of Liability
Thank you so much for your well wishes, support, contributions and help to offer hope, change lives, and make a difference in this world. We could not do this without you. Click "Contribute Now" or select one of our many rewards (a.k.a. perks) and make a contribution! Every contribution counts whether it is $5, $35, $250, or $10,000 or more!