Two and a half years ago I joined Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and immediately became very well acquainted with its national philanthropy, PUSH America. PUSH America is a philanthropy designed to raise awareness, money, and promote volunteering for those with physical and mental disabilities. This philanthropy creates so many opportunities for people less fortunate than us. For example, here at CSU every Wednesday we participate in PUSH bowling, in which every Wednesday we go to Chippers lanes with the kids from Respite Care (a local daycare from children with mental disabilities) and bowl and hang out with the kids for an hour. The payoff is amazing, just to see how happy we make those kids each week and how much fun it is hanging out with them each week. In addition we put on many other events such as regional ride, our fundraiser in which participants ride a bike from our chapter house here in Fort Collins to the Pi Kappa Phi chapter house in Boulder. However PUSH America’s participation does not only exist here at the collegiate level.
Each summer PUSH puts on an annual summer long charity event known as the Journey of Hope or JOH (the inspiration for our regional ride). However it is not a mere 50 mile local bike ride from chapter to chapter, instead it is a 4,000 mile bike ride starting in early June at the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco California and ending mid-August on the footsteps of the capital building in Washington D.C. Each day, the rides will begin by waking up at 5 am, riding an average of 75 miles, and then they must have the energy to participate in events that range anything from raising awareness in the local town to participating in a friendship visit similar to our PUSH bowling. In addition to spending the entire year prior training for the physically challenging summer ahead participants must also spend their time fund raising to necessary $5,500 needed to participate. All that money goes directly to the philanthropy; the things like water, food, and a place to stay are all donated as riders pass through each town.
So why am I posting about this event? Well, last week I received the amazing news that I have been selected to become one of the participants. I am incredibly nervous, as this will be one of the most incredible events that I have ever participated in. From what I hear it is an incredibly life changing event and I can imagine it will be even more so from the stand point of a perspective teacher. This experience is something that I’m sure will teach me a lot about things that I will encounter in my future classroom, and I am beyond excited to see what I learn over the course of my next summer. It’ll be hard but like I said, the payoff will be well worth it.