3-26-2013By Jeffrey Heller
I’m a long-time volunteer attorney at Human Rights First. Through them, I’ve helped hundreds of refugees win asylum in the United States. This week, I am embarking on my third and longest Ride for Human Rights— a bicycle fundraising event in honor of Human Rights First’s work to defend refugees who reach the U.S., and to support human rights abroad.
Human Rights First’s asylum work changes lives. Its network of pro bono attorneys provides free legal help to refugees seeking asylum in the United States. Finding and training those lawyers is expensive. Last year’s benefit bicycle ride from New York City to Nashville, TN raised over $50,000, bringing the Ride’s total to $64,000! Along the way, I talked to school kids, retirees, farmers, shopkeepers, clergy, whomever I met, to get them thinking about our legal and moral duty to refugees and about the benefits immigrants bring to the American heartland.
I’m hitting the road again. I’m pedaling south from New York City – a city that owes its wealth and culture to its millions of foreign-born residents—to St. Petersburg, Florida. This 1,400 mile ride will take me along the Atlantic coasts of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. How evident are the foreign-born in this seaboard slice of “real America”. What part do they play in local life? What are the attitudes of the descendants of earlier immigrants? From my bicycle seat near the ground, where I see and hear as one can’t in a car, I hope to find out.
I ask you to go the extra mile with me and contribute to Human Rights First. Your support will help victims of persecution restart their lives in the United States.
Please contribute today and help us reach this goal.
Follow my on-the-road progress below and how we’re doing with contributions.
Days on the Road: 20
Miles biked from NYC: 1,400 - NYC to Tuckerton, NJ to Lewes, DE to Pocomoke City, MD, to Virginia Beach, VA to Grandy, NC to Rodanthe, NC to Cedar Island, NC to Swansboro, NC to Wilmington, NC to Conway, SC to Andrews, SC to Walterboro, SC to Sylvania, GA to Reidsville, GA to Nahunta, GA to Yulee, FL to St. Augustine, FL to Silver Springs, FL to Weeki Wachee, FL to ST. PETERSBURG, FL
For daily updates on the Ride for Human Rights, subscribe to my personal blog.