“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
That is what a wise young girl by the name of Anne Frank once said. Which I believe is very true. We gain a lot from giving and helping others. No amount of money can truly buy you happiness, unless it’s a new bicycle then I might have to revert what I just said.
With Giving Tuesday looming over us I thought this would be a great chance to share some of the Non-Profits I like to support throughout the year and why I like to support them. Heck, maybe you might decide to support them on Giving Tuesday with me. Which I will remind you is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 30th. So let’s get into it…
IOWA BICYCLE COALITION
I will start off with one from my home state. Iowa Bicycle Coalition is an advocacy group based out of Iowa City, Iowa. They help promote, educate and bring legislation for safer biking to my state. As a cyclist, we all need someone like these guys in our corner. They are always pushing the needle to make sure we all have safe places to ride from doing educational events that teach new drivers how to interact with cyclists to making sure our laws at the state level help make riding here safer. Without this nonprofit Iowa cycling would not be the same. If you haven’t heard of these guys you should check them out at https://iowabicyclecoalition.org/
Keeping with the theme, here is another great organization from my home state I think you all should know about as well. Whiterock Conservancy is a 5,500 acre non-profit land trust that helps bring sustainable agriculture, land protection and recreation to the Coon Rapids, IA location. This place is one of our largest protected lands in our state. It is beautiful and wild. It’s also the darkest spot in our state as well so stargazing here is fantastic. What I love about these guys is their drive to protect our natural Iowa landscape but also share it with the public. There are miles and miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, UTVing, etc. But the only way to keep this place open to the public is by either donating or volunteering. So if you have an interest in land protection and having cool places to visit this is the nonprofit for you. If you haven’t been here, I suggest taking a trip and come camp out at this location. It won’t disappoint. https://www.whiterockconservancy.org/
ADVENTURE CYCLING ASSOCIATION
This national non-profit is one I have been supporting for years. Their mission is to get people out traveling by bicycle. Basically trying to inspire you to get out and have an adventure on your bicycle. They provide many tips and resources for those who want to do a bicycle tour. You can find safe routes, guided tours, discounts on products and my personal favorite is their Adventure Cycling magazine. They really are the one stop shop for all things touring. Plus, they also advocate at a national level to get safer cycling for all of us here in the U.S. If that doesn’t persuade you to support them I don’t know what will. https://www.adventurecycling.org/
RAILS TO TRAILS
Another personal favorite of mine is Rails to Trails. Why you might ask? Well, I love their mission on building trail infrastructure throughout the U.S. I believe in the power of trails and their benefits to our communities. That is why I actually am a board member of my own town’s trails council. These guys help make trails that are safe for not only cyclists but for walkers, skateboarders, and runners alike. What makes me most excited is their current project called The Great American Rail Trail. Once completed it will extend across the whole United States. From Washington State to Washington DC. Imagine being able to cycle all the way across the U.S. without having to get on a highway with any cars? That will be pretty sweet if I do say so myself. I definitely will be one of the few who will want to experience this once it’s complete. Which leads me to say you should check out all the rest of their amazing resources at https://www.railstotrails.org/
International Mountain Biking Association is another national nonprofit whose mission is to bring mountain bike trails closure to home. They help fund and build trails throughout the U.S. through grant funding. The reason I support these guys is because I love mountain biking, plain and simple. I can’t say I am an advanced mountain biker. I do live in Iowa where we don’t exactly have mountains but we aren’t as flat as you may think either. What IMBA does is bring communities together and helps support the mountain biking scene. Go check out their work and see how you can bring more diversity to your community’s biking scene. https://www.imba.com/
Last but not least, is Dream Team. This organization is based out of Des Moines, IA. I had the privilege a few years back to be a mentor to this group. Dream Team is a non-profit that helps youth build relationships, set personal goals, build self-esteem and learn life lessons through cycling. The 5 month program helps these youth train to ride across Iowa in our annual RAGBRAI event. At the end of RAGBRAI, the youth gets to keep the bike that was donated to them for training and the ride. It’s an awesome program and deserves recognition for helping our youth become well-rounded individuals. You can learn more here: https://www.dreamteamdesmoines.org/
what are some of your favorite non-profits?
I do want to make note that I am in no way associated with or sponsored by these non-profits to promote their organizations.