September 24, 2012—On October 1, Charles Honess of Atlanta, Georgia, will begin a 3,058.5 mile bike ride across the United States to raise awareness and funds for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Honess, a retired businessman, will depart from Atlantic Beach, Florida, next Monday and bike 60 to 100 miles a day, traveling across eight states, until he reaches San Diego, California.
Until recently, he’d never even heard of UMCOR, a relief and development organization with projects and partners in more than 80 countries around the world, including the United States.
“I like to ride a bicycle and I’m real good at it,” said Honess, 65, who over the years has ridden across a dozen states. As he did, he said, he was constantly grilled: “Why are you doing this? You must have some Cause!”
Now he does. Honess got the idea to ride for UMCOR from a friend, Paul Sparks, a United Methodist, who will drive a support vehicle for him as he pedals across the country.
From Sparks and others he learned that UMCOR (www.umcor.org) specializes in disaster preparedness and response, both in the United States and overseas.
UMCOR partners with local churches, communities, and NGOs to extend a well-qualified helping hand after crisis to those who are most in need, regardless of religious or other affiliations.
Over its 72-year history, UMCOR has responded to massive disasters, including, most recently, Hurricane Katrina on the U.S. Gulf Coast, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and last year’s deadly combination of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis in Japan.
UMCOR also is engaged in health and long-term development work, and has field offices in Afghanistan, Armenia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Haiti, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Zimbabwe.
Honess, who is not a United Methodist, but counts Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church in Atlanta as his home congregation, felt so inspired by what he learned of UMCOR’s work that he offered to make the cross-country bike ride to benefit the organization.
He plans to bike 60 to 100 miles each day in 20 mile segments. He also has divided his route into seven regions. On the way to California, he will alternate between them, biking and riding in the support vehicle, and will reverse the order of cycling and riding segments on the way back to the East Coast.
Honess’ bike ride for UMCOR will take him through: Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
He will seek to speak with as many congregations or community groups along the way as will receive him to share what he has learned and come to appreciate about UMCOR.
For information about Honess’ trip and how your church or group might host him for such a sharing opportunity, please contact Landon Taylor, UMCOR executive in charge of church and donor relations, at telephone 212-870-3928 or email email@example.com.
For more information about UMCOR, please visit www.umcor.org.