3 Dads from Woodbury, MN to Ride 2,000 Miles for Feed My Starving Children
Five Oaks Church created the Miles 4 Meals program to help raise awareness and funds for Feed My Starving Children.
The church will send a team of three cyclists and their support driver to ride 2,000 miles, over 21 days, from Huntington Beach, CA back up to Woodbury, MN.
The three cyclists range in age from 43 to 60 and are self-described weekend warriors.
Jerry Meras, Outreach Director for Five Oaks, and one of the cyclists, said, “We wanted to do something big, bold and maybe a little crazy, to get people’s attention. None of us has ridden nearly this far before and I know it will be tough. We are riding 100 miles a day to give kids a chance who might otherwise die of starvation. Sure it will be hard, but not nearly as hard as the mother who has to watch her child waste away and die because she cannot feed him. Compared to that, what we are doing is a piece of cake.”
Beginning on August 11, 2012, the team will begin cycling, approximately 100 miles per day, until reaching Woodbury on Saturday, September 1, 2012. To keep operational costs down, Miles 4 Meals is partnering with 21 churches and organizations along the ride route. Each partner will house and feed the team for one evening, as the team makes their way across the country.
The three cyclists are:
Dick Hansen, a 60 year-old grandfather of 2 who began cycling on multi-day trips two years ago. For Dick, this ride is an adventure, an opportunity to raise money for FMSC and it will commemorate the 40 year anniversary of a bike trip he took part in during college, That ride covered 1,500 miles from LaCrosse, WI to Dallas, TX. During that ride Dick mostly drove the support vehicle. 40 years later he is cycling!
Rod Loran, a father, an avid runner, and a recent retiree from CenturyLink. After retirement, Rod purchased a bicycle to join friends on Friday morning rides for coffee. Shortly after the Miles 4 Meals program was conceived, Rod was the first to sign on as a cyclist. Rod felt that starving children was a great cause to ride for, and that this ride would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. As Rod put it, “Go big or go home!”
Jerry Meras, a father of two, Jerry has been a runner for many years, but bought his first touring bike to complete the Miles 4 Meals ride. Jerry is a former Army officer and a retired police officer who is now at Five Oaks Church as Outreach Director. Jerry is very passionate about FMSC and helping ease hunger world-wide.
Five Oaks is partnering with Feed My Starving Children to produce 500,000 meals at a cost of $110,000. These meals will feed 1,370 children, every day, for a full year! The Miles 4 Meals program was created to fight world hunger by providing practical ways for anyone to help combat this horrific global epidemic. Per UNICEF, 18,000 children die from starvation or from hunger related illnesses every day. Through the Miles 4 Meals program, you can make a difference in the lives of these kids by donating toward the cost of the meals. You can also help pack the meals during Five Oaks’ Mobile Packing event. Individuals can travel, with a Five Oaks team, to Haiti for a week in January, and help distribute FMSC meals to hungry and starving children. The next Five Oaks Mobile Pack Event will be held from February 28 – March 3, 2013 at Five Oaks Church (4416 Radio Drive, Woodbury).
At this time the cost of the ride itself is funded. 100% of all donations made to Miles 4 Meals will go directly to Feed My Starving Children toward the costs of the 500,000 meals.
This event marks Five Oaks Church’s fifth FMSC MobilePack event. Community members can support this event by making a donation to help cover production costs for these meals. To learn more, or to see track the cyclists’ progress in real time, visit 5oaks.info/m4m.