She is a best friend to the end. She lives in Boulder, Colorado and knows my every whim, emotion, desire, and true nature of my being.
We have been in each other’s lives for over 10 years, and not a moment goes by where we don’t call, write, or ping and connect.
When I left Boulder in 2008 she too ventured out into the world, visiting and living in different cities and countries to squelch her yearning for fresh perspectives and newer experiences. What matters during our journeying is that our souls stay in tune and our hearts stay in touch.
Over the years she has pulled up her boot straps, gone back to school for holistic nutrition, started her own wellness business, and is coaching numerous cyclists to become great in their sport. But what is currently giving me pause is the latest venture she has embarked upon.
She is working with a non-profit organization called Bicycles for Humanity, which is a global grassroots movement that provides the gift of mobility delivered by a bicycle to many in developing countries.
They use donated bicycles as a fundamental barrier to help with issues of transportation in certain countries needing access to healthcare, education and economic opportunities. There are several organizations across the United States spearheading the transport of thousands of bicycles to developing countries such as Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania (to name a few) to create jobs and schools across the land.
To date, Colorado has donated over 4,200 bikes to these environments, and they are currently in Zambia checking out the fruits of their labor and learning more of what is needed and what is being done.
She has become the Operations Manager of the Denver-based organization and is so passionate about the generous nature of people willing to donate their old bicycles to those less fortunate.
She is helping to change lives two wheels at a time.
I have to say that my soul sisters’ contribution speaks volumes in the faces of gratitude from the natives and co-partners in the African country. Her humanitarian cause is just another level of her growth in this world. The photos that come through on my news feed are astoundingly simple.
Women carrying their kitchen supplies in totes on their heads, old donated bikes hanging in their makeshift bike shop, my soul sisters’ place to rest her head each night (which resembles an easygoing camp site), the locals gathering around and enjoying the welcoming of 1,000+ bikes for their people, and smiles as wide as the eyes can see.
The roads are wet, dirty and raw. Their abodes are small, colorful and put together with materials from the land.
I look at this and marvel at how much gratitude each person possesses as they go about their daily chores. When the enormous container of donated bikes arrives at their doorstep, it becomes an effort taken on by my soul sister and her crew. I am in awe of her and this organization.
It seems all too easy to throw away an old bicycle due to its lack of newness or up-to-date parts and accessories. If it has lost its shine, we don’t want it any more. But, we can instead choose to give back to a non-profit organization such as Bicycles for Humanity. I am beyond impressed with what they stand for and the inspiration of the three men who started it in Colorado.
B4H has 50 Chapters in five countries. Since its inception in 2005, over 12,000 bicycles have been shipped to developing countries, and the Colorado chapter has the full support of the community, as the state alone is considered one of the healthiest around for outdoor endeavors and biking.
Check out their website, find and like them on Facebook (Bicycles for Humanity Colorado), and keep up to date with where they are and what they are doing to help others across the land.
If it gives you peace in your heart and a reason to believe that there is goodness in the world, then I believe they have done their job. Donate a bike and make countries with lesser capabilities happy and proud that they have a means to create movement and education in their environment.
I believe my soul sister has found her purpose, giving back holistically and authentically to those in need. I love her dearly and am honored to spread the message of hope.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photos: Courtesy of Bicycles for Humanity