Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Something As Simple As A Bicycle
The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. ~ William Saroyan
My friend Rob Coalson gave me a wonderful 50th birthday present. Yes, I just turned 51, but only recently have the fruits of Rob's gift come to ripen.
Rob donated a very generous amount of money in my name last year to the 88bikes Foundation, the goal of which, as its website says, is to "provide a sustainable, joyful, empowering form of transportation to young people in developing countries, in situations where these children have been challenged to be their own heroes due to war, conflict, poverty, disease, or other regional hardships."
Basically, 88bikes gives bikes to kids who don't have bikes, in places where something as simple as a bicycle can make a huge impact on the quality of their lives.
The organization was founded by Dan Austin, a writer and filmmaker from Seattle; Dr. Jared Austin, a pediatric hospitalist and assistant professor at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland; and Nick Arauz, a designer and social media entrepreneur from Brooklyn.
I had forgotten about Rob's donation until a few weeks ago, when I was surprised and thrilled to find on my desk at work five certificates featuring photographs of the five children who had each received a bike in my name, thanks to Rob's generosity. The kids live in Mozambique and Nepal.
What's amazing about the certificates is that they show not only the children posing with their new bikes but holding a photograph of Emma and me, taken on a bike ride a few years ago and posted on this blog.
I have to admit, it's quite something to see a child in Mozambique or Nepal holding your photograph. (See above and below.)
Thank you again, Rob, for such an amazing gift.
I urge everyone to check out 88bikes and make whatever donation they can afford.