My 140.6 miles for 140 bikes and smiles!
Organized by: Cristina Fernandez
Bike Donation from Sheri Davidson
June 08, 2016
EVENT DATE Apr 07, 2017
Hi! My name is Cristina and I live in Houston,Texas. Today I want to present to you the project that I am passionately supporting: Juarez en Rueditas (Juarez on Wheels). The goal is simple yet life changing: promoting physical activity among children living in low-income conditions in my hometown Juarez, Chihuahua by providing them bicycles to help them improve their health, wellbeing, morals, and most importantly, to show them that dreams come true!
This project began way back in time as an idea inside a man's head: my fathers. He was born and raised in Juarez, and as he grew up, he witnessed the obvious divide between the "normal city and normal people" in contrast with the "lower- income settings of the city". This social inequality triggered inside of him a desire to help others, that would always make him wonder new ways to give back to the community. As years passed, not only his passion to help developed, but also his love for endurance sports. This journey started in 1996 as a runner, then as a cyclist, and now as a devoted triathlete and ultra-marathoner!
It took him some years to put a master idea together, one idea that could have a positive impact in depressed communities by leveraging some of his experiences in sports. Time commitment and work load were always barriers to execute this dream though; but, as they say, behind a great man there is a great woman, my mom came into the game to give a last push to get this going. My Mother became the president for Rotary Club Paso del Norte in 2012; this position would give my parents the opportunity to involve more hands willing to help others. Having said that, 2012 was finally the year when the idea of a man, the initiative of a woman and the pro activity of a big group of active women came together and ever since, the dream of Juarez on Wheels has endured!
The strategy of this plan is as follows: A certain number of kids are selected in order to set the fundraising plan; usually the range is between 100-300 bikes. Then, 5 schools located in vulnerable areas are selected, and consequently, 4 months prior to the big "delivery" event, the ladies from this Rotary Club go to each of the schools and present the project to the kids. The kids have to maintain a grade point average above 85 and write an essay explaining why they want a bicycle. In March, grade check-up is done, and the essays go through the committee to identify students that will receive their bicycle. Once bikes have been collected through donations and fundraising events, selection has been made and kids have been notified; then the Big Event takes place in April. All of the families come down to the city, news reporters are present, music, balloons, clowns and a variety of mixed emotions along with a vibrant energy, all mixed together to make a child’s dream come true and give the family a sense of hope and happiness!
With this said, as I am headed to my first full 140.6 Ironman in Vineman on July 30th of this year and it will certainly be a dream come true and the accomplishment of one of my bucket lists, I would like to dedicate it to these children and give them the best gift : the gift of dreaming! That is why on July 30, each mile that I accomplish will be for each children, whom I don't even know but I do know that tomorrow will be a better world if that kid begins to dream at such a young age. The best part is that I am not alone and, on that day, I will be sharing the finish line with the man who inspired me, who motivated me and who every day with his enduring character gave me the best tools to construct my life, and that person is my father! We will both accomplish one of our biggest dreams and we will be dedicating this special day, to our city, to these children and to the power of dreaming.
If it is in your heart to donate any amount for the purchase of bikes ( which are about ~$100 each ) or if you're in the Houston, San Antonio, Austin or El Paso area and would like to donate a bike in good conditions we would be very thankful and a kid would be even more thankful. It takes many pieces to build a big puzzle and that is why today we ask for your help to endure 140.6 miles to 140 bikes for kids and smiles!
If you would like to contact me please send me an email at: email@example.com.