SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A cross country adventure from Florida to Oregon has brought some out-of-town guests to Sioux Falls this weekend. There’s no flying or driving involved along the way, but there is a reason behind the trek.
It’s a journey crossing 15 states and traveling almost four thousand miles… on a bike.
“My favorite part has been seeing this country in a light I’ve not ever had a chance to see it before. Just looking at the beautiful scenery, the farmlands and talking to people in towns,” cyclist Karen DeJoe from Florida said.
DeJoe is one of eight people making that coast to coast trek.
“I have MS and I used to be in a wheelchair and I’m so grateful to be out and to be able to complete this mission that I figured it was a wonderful way for me to give back,” DeJoe said. “I’m grateful for where I am today and I feel like I want to just spread good news to the folks of this country.”
Fuller Center Housing is hosting the ride with a mission to help people dealing with poverty. Each rider must raise money to participate. They often receive donations along the way.
“And overall, all these rides are going to raise close to six hundred thousand dollars to go for builds of new houses or retrofits of houses for people who can’t otherwise afford housing,” Fuller Center Housing Bicycle Adventure member James Dire said.
This is the bike adventure’s 14th year, and this summer, it brought them through South Dakota. Along the way, they also help with house repairs or builds in towns that have Fuller Center partners.
“For me, the thing I like the most is working on the builds,” Dire said. “Because these are people who wouldn’t have a house remodeled or a house built, we’ve done new constructions, even. Just the faces of these people who are so thankful for us for all the hardwork we do.”
“Because, in the end, when you provide housing for people, you make their health care better, their health status better and I’m a physician so that means a lot to me,” DeJoe said. “But we lower crime, we raise the infrastructure in cities and neighborhoods. There’s just pluses all around.”
The cyclists stay in churches along the way. They’ll stay in Sioux Falls for the Fourth of July and then spend next week biking across the state. Fuller Center Housing is a Georgia-based organization.