As you can imagine, I've been closely following the rapid spread of Coronavirus across the United States. Safety has and always will be my chief concern. The safety of the riders, homestay hosts, and charity partners is of ultimate importance over dollars raised, hours volunteered, or miles rode. That being said, I've made the tough decision to call off our summer programming. There's simply no space for social distancing when you're biking across the country. In addition to the Dream Team's health and safety, I do not want to pose additional risks to those communities that graciously host the riders and partner with us each year.
The Dream Project's larger mission is helping young adults grow into leaders through service and philanthropy. I believe this goal is most important now so more than ever before as this organization can play an important role in supporting our community.
Further, all of our riders commit to 80-100 volunteer hours with our charitable partners before they roll out on their Dream Journey. Although our trip isn't happening this summer, we’d love to see our riders continue this commitment and also extend it to our greater community of Dreamers. We invite everyone - alumni, homestay hosts, partners, donors, sponsors - to pledge 10 volunteer hours with a local organization in your area before the end of the year at thedreamprojectnj.org/summer2020. Tag us on social media, use the hashtag #keepdreaming, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your efforts.
This year's riders will have a spot waiting for them on a 2021 route. All of their fundraising efforts will carry over and we'll continue working with our current partners both at home and across the country in the new season. So much work goes into preparing for a Dream Journey so I know I speak for everyone when I say how proud I am of the riders' efforts and dedication so far.
I am grateful to you all for helping us strengthen our commitment to making the world a better place through service and cycling.