One in eight Americans lives below the poverty line and the number is increasing. Cycling for Change is a nationwide endeavor to reduce poverty in the United States. Teams of cyclists and community volunteers led by Fr. Matt Ruhl, SJ, a pastor of a vibrant urban Kansas City parish, which will include myself, are already making a difference through their involvement with Cycling for Change.
In 100 days from May to September of 2010, the team will cycle from Cape Flattery, Washington, to Key West, Florida – a total of more than 5000 miles – to advocate for the poor.
Catholic Charities USA, the nation’s largest network of social service organizations, serving persons of all faiths, has initiated a multi-faceted approach to reduce poverty in the United States. The CCUSA Campaign to Reduce Poverty has an ambitious goal to decrease the number of families at or below the poverty line by 50% by 2020. The campaign stresses the need for businesses, faith-based organizations, government and individuals to work together to strategically address the systemic causes of poverty in our nation.
“Independence from Poverty” Ride
In addition to the national Cycling for Change ride, Catholic Charities of Colorado Springs will be hosting our own “Independence from Poverty” ride, which will benefit those in our community who need help the most.
The local ride will take place over two days, originating at the Marian House in downtown Colorado Springs on July 7th, moving north to Castle Rock to meet the national team, then returning the next day, July 8th, to Colorado Springs with the National Cycling for Change team.
Additionally, there will be a family ride on day two, where families not up to the 80 mile round-trip journey can participate in a 2 – 5 mile family ride.
Local funds raised will be used for the vital services of Marian House where:
*more than 600 meals are served most days in the soup kitchen to families, seniors, veterans and disabled persons on a fixed income, the working poor and the homeless;
*more than 2,800 individuals are seen in Client Services, receiving case management services, given access to a clothing closet and receive help with getting IDs and birth certificates;
*more than 21,700 adults and children receive support from Life Support Services with items such as baby food, formula, diapers and clothing;
*more than 350 families receive help with furniture, small appliances, food boxes and rental and utility assistance.
Watch my blog for more details and weekly updates!