On Saturday, Aug. 7, Aldergrove resident Joel Friesen and friend Drew Eliason, a former Langley resident, will be cycling for 12 hours straight as part of the Canadian charity Ally Global Foundation,‘Move for Freedom’ fundraiser to support the work of healing and restoration for survivors of human-trafficking.
He is hoping to raise $12,000.
Friesen and Eliason are among more than 400 participants in more than 100 teams across Canada who will be participating in Move for Freedom to prevent human trafficking and help survivors find healing.
The annual event, organized by Ally, encourages participants to use an activity they love to make a difference.
About five years ago, Friesen was involved in a ride from Belgium to India in support of another nonprofit organization to bring awareness to the issue.
“Mentally and physically, it was gruelling,” Friesen told the Langley Advance Times, “but it was worthwhile.”
Earlier this year, Joel and his wife Sofia spent three months in Nepal working alongside one of Ally Global Foundation’s partner organizations.
He is riding again, he said, “to declare that the work is not done.
“Witnessing the strength and courage of survivors of human trafficking and the people who care for them has changed my life forever,” Friesen declared.
“This is why I am so passionate about partnering with Ally and about going out and doing something that many people would consider foolish or over-the-top. When it comes to seeking justice and healing for exploited women and children, no distance is too far to go.”
Last year’s Move for Freedom event saw hundreds of participantsraise $309,000, helping to fund safe housing, education and after-care for survivors in Asia and Canada.
Donations can be made online at allyglobal.kindful.com/moveforfreedom/the-longest-ride-12-hours-non-stop-on-a-bicycle.
As of Saturday, July 17, the team had raised $3,112, slightly more than a quarter of their goal.
Friesen said they are also looking for some “bold individuals to donate a set amount for every additional hour we bike above and beyond the initial 12.”
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