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Brendyn Gronewoller's Fundraiser:

Donate to support Journey of Hope riders.

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BENEFITING:

Brendyn Gronewoller

THE STORY:

I am trying to raise money for those men taking part in the Journey of Hope bike ride. Each rider must raise $5,500 and each crew member must raise $2,500. Absolutely 100% of donations here goes directly to riders in need so that they can reach their minimum goals.

Background:

In 1987, one man’s dream of riding his bike across the country came true. What he did not know was the inspiration and motivation his trek across America would give to Push America. The very next year his ride inspired Push America to create the largest fraternal fundraising and awareness event of its kind, the Journey of Hope. Today the Journey of Hope covers 32 different states, cycling over 12,000 miles combined, it is solely comprised of members of Pi Kappa Phi and continues to spread a message of acceptance and understanding for people with disabilities.

Journey of Hope reaches out to people through newspapers, radio and television, civic groups and community leaders, reaching millions of people annually and bringing to the forefront the abilities of people with disabilities. From the inaugural team of 21 team members raising $20,000, the team has since been expanded into three different routes of 35 Pi Kappa Phis and annually raises more than $500,000. One man’s dream made it all possible.

Journey of Hope is a cross-country bicycle trek beginning in San Francisco, CA (North and South) and Seattle, WA (TransAmerica) and ending together with all teams in Washington, D.C. (view route map here). The event raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities. Simply put, the Journey of Hope is a ride with a purpose. Make no mistake; this is not a simple ride. Journey of Hope is about many things. It is about challenging the norm. It is about serving our communities. It is about finding out more about ourselves than we ever imagined. It is about having a dream. It is about a mission. It is about hope.

The true impact of the Journey of Hope can be felt through its programming across the nation. After riding an average of 75 miles a day, you won't find team members napping preparing for the next day's ride. They will be dancing at a friendship visit with a local group that supports people with disabilities, participating in a game of wheelchair basketball, performing puppet shows to educate children on the abilities of people with disabilities, and learning life lessons that will impact them for the rest of their lives. This journey is service beyond self and the men of Pi Kappa Phi have been dedicated to people with disabilities since 1977.

How Push America Helps:

Every program of Push America has the goal of giving back to the community through a number of different grants. Materials used in construction programs are purchased through grants. On every stop of a cycling event, a grant is given to a local organization that serves people with disabilities in order to provide new equipment or upgrades to their facilities.

In addition to event grants, chapters of Pi Kappa Phi are able to get involved in grant-giving. Through Push America’s AccessABILITY program, chapters are given a reimbursement grant to cover the material costs of building a wheelchair ramp on a home in need in their community. Each chapter that has taken the initiative to have a volunteer relationship in their local community is also rewarded with a Circle of Giving grant. Circle of Giving grants are 25% of a chapter’s fundraising for a year and given in that chapter’s name to their local volunteer relationship.

Every year, Push America averages about 15% administrative costs, which means that 85% of all the money raised goes directly back into serving people with disabilities.

What Push America does:

Over the course of Push America’s history, the way the organization achieves its mission has changed often without ever forgetting its roots. When it was founded, Push America was based on the construction of play units for children with disabilities. It was only a matter of years before construction was no longer the sole focal point of the organization.

Cycling was introduced 10 years into the organization’s history with Journey of Hope, a cross-country cycling event, followed by Gear Up Florida, a similar event across the state. With the addition of Build America a few years later, cycling and construction truly began working hand-in-hand to change the lives of people with disabilities.

Currently, Push America still utilizes construction and cycling as main vehicles for impact, but has also added Push America Challenge, an event not restricted to only members of Pi Kappa Phi focused on pushing the limits of human ability.

More than any one event, though, is the idea of service leadership. The goal of each and every Push America program is to give of one’s self in order to benefit people with disabilities, instilling a lifelong commitment to service.

Push America helps:

Simply put, Push America serves people with disabilities. There is no specific age or disability with which Push America is aligned. Push America was founded on the premise that people with disabilities are no different than people without disabilities, and it is the organization’s vision to raise the level of awareness people have about people with disabilities.

First and foremost is educating those around us about the abilities of people with disabilities and treating them with the respect that should be given to everyone. People first language is the easiest way we can all show understanding and respect and a way of putting the person before the disability. Instead of calling someone “disabled,” they should be referred to as a “person with a disability.” Likewise, rather than saying someone “is autistic,” say that someone “has autism,” making it clear that a disability is not all that a person is.

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