With the cancellation of summer events due to COVID-19 and shift to virtual ones, a void was not only realized in the missed Friendship Visits, but also in the miles that are traditionally cycled across the country.
As a way to show support for our friends with disabilities and The Ability Experience, alumni and Pi Alphas took on a Journey of Hope Ride Along Challenge.
The Journey of Hope Ride Along Challenge took place from mid-June through end of August with the goal of collectively cycling the 12,000 combined miles of Journey of Hope. Challenge participants could knock out miles on an indoor trainer or on the roads around their community. There were 44 participants that recorded 14,856 miles.
In addition to cycling the miles, the cyclist supported The Ability Experience’s new virtual experiences created as a result of COVID-19 by raising funds while they rode. Over $20,000 was raised thanks to the fundraising efforts of 58 participants!
Alongside this Challenge were Virtual Friendship Visits, which were created in order to maintain the relationships created over the years with several of our Journey of Hope partner organizations across the country. These Virtual Friendship Visits also included team members of Gear Up Florida, Build America and Journey of Hope virtual team.
Virtual Friendship Visits provided over 1,000 shared experiences between people with and without disability during a time where some many needed that personal connection, even if it was virtually!
The Ability Experience is extremely grateful for the support of those that participated in the Challenge and the supporters that donated to the participants. The impact and legacy of The Ability Experience’s summer events, like Journey of Hope, continued on this summer thanks to the dedicated alumni, Pi Alphas, donors and disability organization partners who believe so deeply in the mission of The Ability Experience!