The Rapidian

"Ride for Refuge" returns October 1st

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

International biking event is coming back to Grand Rapids to raise money for vulnerable people. Find out how you can get involved in the event.

/Jessica Gladden

Underwriting support from:

Donate your time or money:

Donate directly to Thrive's Ride for Refuge.

To become a volunteer, contact Jessica Gladden.












Have you ever wondered how you could support refugees and other vulnerable people in your own city without a lengthly time commitment? Ride for Refuge has over 600 teams of cyclists in the United States and Canada - raise money by collecting sponsors to go on a bike ride! You can also support a biker by going to their individualized page.


Ride for Refuge started just six years ago with just a few cyclists raising money for refugees. Now an international fundraiser that raises nearly a million dollars for multiple programs supporting vulnerable people, Ride for Refuge is returning to Grand Rapids on October 1st.


Ride for Refuge is utilized by many smaller nonprofits and church programs that might not have the resources to put together a full scale cycling event on their own. It is family friendly, with courses starting at five miles and going up to 60 miles for the hard core bikers!


Thrive: A Refugee Support Program is one of the many teams that will be riding at this year's event. Thrive is a new program to the Grand Rapids area, supporting local refugees who have been here past the three to six months resettlement period by connecting volunteers to families that need additional assistance in adjusting. Volunteers typically visit their refugee families once or twice a week and provide assistance such as transportation, help understanding mail, connections with the children's school systems and answering questions about culture. Volunteers often feel that they have gained a great deal in this partnership as well. Molly Stabler, a current volunteer, says "Helping the family has really turned out to help me more than them. It fills my heart and makes me a part of something bigger than myself." Thrive also connects local refugees to related programs through referrals and the Transportation Program.


Many other local program are participating in Ride for Refuge, such as Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, Church of the Servant, End Slavery Ministries, Kentwood Community Church and The Other Way Ministries.

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If you would like more information on the Ride for Refuge in general, please visit

If you would like more information on the Ride for Refuge in general, please visit