Biking for a better world: Erica Charis

Earlier this month I received an email from Victoria, whom longtime readers of LGRAB probably remember from Victoria’s Ride and her stop in Nashville a couple of Octobers ago. Entitled “Why I Suck at Fundraising,” the email explained that Victoria usually does something big or not at all (not a real surprise coming from someone who biked alone cross-country). “In the face of huge social ills and incurable diseases, I feel pretty powerless,” she admitted. “Since I can’t solve it all on my own, or even have much influence at all in the grand scheme of things, I’ve always chosen to just not do anything.” But she’s decided to change this by participating in two bicycle fund-raising activities this summer, thanks to her friend Erica Charis. The first is Tread on Trafficking, which benefits Love146, an organization that aims to prevent child trafficking around the world.  Participants pledge to complete a certain amount of physical activity between May 1 and June 30—anything from pogo-sticking to running to biking. The second is The Seacoast Safari,  a more traditional 2-day 150-mile ride to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Erica Charis celebrates at the end of a long ride

The email struck a chord with me, and I wanted to know more about the friend who changed Victoria’s opinion on fundraising rides. Turns out Erica participated in Tread on Trafficking last year, pledging to ride 600 miles in a two-month period despite being a novice cyclist. It wasn’t long ago that she “would ride my Bianchi the 3.5 miles to Alewife Station and be so dead tired from my efforts that I would take the bus home, leaving my poor “Millie” locked at the train station until the next fair weather day.” This year, she is doubling her mileage to 1200—and has recruited 13 other riders to join her, including Victoria.

“What I’ve taken on is tough–and that’s on purpose,” Erica writes in a Facebook note. “Because what I’m asking others to do in return–part with some money is a risky financial climate and hope & trust that the good it will do in someone else’s life is greater than the good it could do it your own–is also tough.  So I guess that’s my wish for all of us this week and in those to come: may we all feel rich enough to give it all away and see great things happen because of it.”

If you, like me, are a small-stepper who hopes take a big step one day, donate to Victoria and Erica’s efforts today. The deadline to contribute is June 30. As a team, they are still $5000 away from their goal. Maybe LGRAB readers can help put them over the top?

Learn more about Tread on Trafficking
Support Victoria & Erica and the rest of the Boston Task Force team! Deadline to donate: Thursday, June 30

Learn more about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Support Erica’s Seacoast Safari Ride (before July 18)
Support Victoria’s Seacoast Safari Ride (before July 18)




2 thoughts on “Biking for a better world: Erica Charis

  1. Dottie says:

    Good for her! It’s great to see people working to help others. There’s always a way to help. I hope they reach their goal; they’ve already raised so much! I made my small contribution.

  2. Caroline says:

    Thanks LGRAB for the info, I will make a contribution as well :-)

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