Four-thousand miles. On a bike. That’s the length of Journey of Hope. Greg Brandt of Renton plans to make this trip with his fraternity brothers next summer.
Brandt, who is studying electrical engineering, is in Pi Kappa Phi at the University of Washington. He graduated from Hazen High School in 2007.
Journey of Hope began in 1987 as a program for Push America, a Pi Kappa Phi organization that provides various programs for disabled people. Many of Brandt’s fraternity brothers have made the bike journey, but it will be a first for Brandt, a sophomore next year.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity to meet new people and do something pretty great,” Brandt says.
He hopes to ride the south route, from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. Both the north route and the trans route also end in D.C. He and his teammates will ride about 80 miles a day.
They will stop along the way to spend time with people with disabilities, at clinics, high schools, churches, barbecues, dances and parades.
Brandt is just starting biking. He’s up to 15 miles. He has more practice with helping disabled people.
He takes notes for people who need them at the University of Washington. And he took time out of the swim class he taught at Hazen to give private lessons to an autistic child.
“I thought it was really rewarding, and I wanted to kind of do it on a bigger scale,” he says.
Journey of Hope is certainly a bigger scale. Brandt is almost ready. But first he has to raise money. He has already raised $2,000, but hopes to raise $3,000 more. Mail donations to Brandt at 5131 N.E. 21st St., Renton, WA 98059, or e-mail email@example.com.
For more information about Journey of Hope, visit http://www.pushamerica.org and click on Events.