Alex is Action Against Hunger’s Donor Engagement Officer. He helps our supporters stay informed and active in the fight against hunger.
Fundraisers in Focus: Five Things To Know About Mi & Kelly
We pedaled hard and caught up with Mi Furlong and Kelly Lovejoy, who are biking over 4,000 miles from Ventura, CA to Vancouver, BC to raise money for Action Against Hunger’s lifesaving programs. Here are five things you'll want to know about their epic journey.
1) First off, how are your legs holding up? Are you doing anything special to keep pushing forward?
After cycling about 2,100 miles our legs are much stronger but at this point we are both pretty tired. To keep motivated we like to find pretty spots to take a moment to do yoga to ease our aching muscles. Our motivation is also renewed by each incredible sight that could only be possible by bicycle and reaching each new milestone, like entering our 6th state, Montana. Witnessing a scenic view is that much sweeter when you feel like you've earned it by climbing up to the top of the hill. It is very satisfying.
2) How did this all start—did you want to help Action Against Hunger, then think of the bike ride idea, or the other way around? Or something else entirely?
Mi interned with Action Against Hunger whilst in college and fell in love with the organization. Kelly has been an avid utilitarian cyclist for years and dedicated two months to a previous bicycle tour from New Orleans to New York. She enjoyed the tour so much that she delved into bicycle advocacy with the Ventura Bicycle Union. Our dedication to bicycle education, sustainable transportation, and food security awareness led us to combine those interests in this tour.
3) Any advice for people who want to do something to help, but maybe can’t find the time to do something as big as you guys?
Start small. A word we often use is “scaffold” and we practice it in everything we do. Anybody can help—even something as simple as posting information on your Facebook page or signing online petitions can make a difference. That feels good and after a while you become motivated by small successes and you want to do more.
4) What has been the highlight of the trip so far, and what has been the lowlight?
There have been so many incredible places, people, and moments in this trip that it is difficult to pick any one thing. We both agree that the most beautiful and memorable parts of the trip have been basically all of Southern Utah, the Tetons, and Yellowstone. Highway 12 in Southern Utah was a great ride with some of the most breathtaking views we've seen. We wish we could have spent more time in Yellowstone but will have to return one day. The lowlight has been having to settle to substandard gear due to budget restraints, consequently putting more strain on our bodies.
5) Finally, why does hunger matter to you?
Hunger is one of the most preventable causes of human suffering. Mi studied agriculture, food, and social justice in college and learned that hunger is a result of poverty, not food availability. Kelly's travels throughout South America and Asia put her face to face with people who were born into poverty and hardship. There are still plenty of resources to go around so the fact that some people still face the terrifying reality of starvation is the result of gross misallocation and unfairness. People who are denied the ability to feed themselves and their families are suffering from a terrible injustice. Access to food is a human right and for this basic need to not be met is a tragedy.
Check out Mi & Kelly’s “Appetite for Adventure” fundraising page
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Facts about Hunger
925 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition around the world.
Malnutrition affects 32.5% of children in developing countries.
1 out of every 6 infants are born with low birth weight due to undernutrition among pregnant women in developing countries.
1 out of every 3 people in developing countries are affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Hunger is number one on the list of the world's top 10 health risks. It kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.