Last July, Johan Bruyneel and I kicked off a ridiculously ambitious fundraiser: The Grand Slam for Zambia. The idea was as simple as it was big: raise enough money for World Bicycle Relief to buy kids in Zambia 1000 bikes. We offered a huge number of great prizes as well as a pretty noble carrot: by donating $134, you’d be buying a kid the opportunity at a vastly improved life.
Oh, and we had a cool logo, too:
The thing is, it’s not like the economy was great last year, so I was a little doubtful as to whether we’d hit that goal of $134,000.
Which just goes to show: I am stupid.
Because when all was said and done, you raised $158,791.00. Almost $25,000 more than the outrageous goal we had set.
Honestly, I get choked up thinking about the generosity of you people. I do. Thank you for being the kind of people who, when given the chance to do something good, take that opportunity and go way beyond what was asked of you.
Today, I wanted to show you the beginnings of the results of what you’ve done. Katie (you should read her story), the Grassroots Development Director of World Bicycle Relief, visited Zambia to deliver the first 340 of the bikes we bought, and brought back some fantastic video.
First, a short video of her with the bikes, talking a little about what she’s doing:
But the more important part is her, here, telling the kids about the bikes she’s delivering:
I love the fact that she’s wearing a 100 Miles of Nowhere t-shirt as she’s making this presentation. And I love even more how the kids react when they hear my name.
But what I love most is the fact that those kids, in that school, in that video, right now, have a better chance at a good life because of something we did. Something you did.
Here, take a look at a few of Katie’s pictures from this trip:
Again, thank you.
When I was in Chicago (for my day job) a few weeks ago, I got a chance to meet some of the WBR people in person:
Left to right, that’s Katie, Leah (Co-Founder of WBR), and F.K. (Co-Founder of WBR). They showed me around the SRAM / WBR headquarters (WBR was created by SRAM and they share office space):
I love that the little bike test track at SRAM has all kinds of skid marks on it.
We had dinner together, and talked about what we’re doing and what good luck we have to be in the position to help people out, not to mention be surrounded by people who are willing — happy, even — to join us and do soemthing for people who need it.
By the end of dinner, I knew for absolutely positively sure that there would be a second Grand Slam for Zambia.
I’m thinking we’ll call it Grand Slam II: This Time It’s Personal.
Or something like that.
Going to Zambia
The other thing we talked about was that they wanted me to go to Zambia with them, as soon as possible. To see what these bikes we bought are doing. So I can come home and tell the story.
We’re working on the timing, but it’ll be soonish. I’m looking forward to telling these kids about how hundreds and hundreds of people who I don’t know and they don’t know bought bikes, so those kids could see how amazing and important and life-changing bikes can be.
Again — and again and again — thank you. You people are the best. And I mean that.