Last weekend team BUILD coordinated and completed the inaugural Seattle to Vancouver cycle ride which raised $10,135 for Shelterbox disaster relief. The ride was beautiful and inspiring as well as difficult and challenging. We saw sunny skies, pouring rain and everything in between. What kept us cranking up the hills, while soaked and tired, was a very simple idea; that the disaster victims we were riding for don’t have the basic necessities of survival right now. Even as we were exhausted and dripping wet, the fact is, at the end of the day we had a warm meal awaiting, a roof over our heads and a bed to sleep in. Pedaling 186 miles seems quite manageable when you think about trying to survive in any of the world’s current disaster sites. The Shelterbox mission is to deliver emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide. Arriving at the finish line in Vancouver knowing that we were able to fund 10+ Shelterbox survival kits to families in need around the world was the real victory for us.

RSVP map courtesy of the Cascade Bicycle Club

We had plenty of time to think on the ride and there was one stream of thought that stood out from the rest. Despite the poor economy and the tough times, what we choose to do with our time is more important than ever. Being in action and being effective is a deliberate decision and unless we choose to take on something bigger than ourselves, valuable time will simply get sucked up by all of life’s mundane details.

There were a number of champions who made a conscious decision to support the cause this year, from financial donors to friends and family who cheered us on throughout the ride. We want to extend our gratitude to these generous individuals. They enabled us to do something meaningful and they had a significant impact on the lives of dozens of people in need. Special thanks go out to Picnic on Phinney Ridge who rounded up a Shelterbox kit for closer inspection at a recent fundraising event.

Shelterbox is currently on the ground in Pakistan, Brazil and Guatemala providing relief to flooding and tropical storms. If you haven’t already, this is your invitation to donate.

Plans for the 2nd annual Seattle to Vancouver ride are already in the works. Stay tuned for more information and until then we encourage everyone to take up a cause larger than themselves and take action on it.

Cheers from team BUILD.