September 3, Day 63 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
On our third day on the road after our extended break in Sioux City, Iowa, we battled a persistent and strong wind from the south all day long, slowing our average speed to 8 mph. We were again engulfed by massive corn fields, which filled the flood plain of the Missouri River at every turn. Due to the headwind, we felt like we had accomplished something after cycling 50 miles and entering Nebraska, our seventh state on our tour.
Debbie and I set some goals before our tour. If you’ve followed our blog, you may already realize that we anticipated cycling 4,000 miles, with the intention of making it from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. We’re also asking God to bring TheHopeLine $100,000 as a result of our fundraising efforts associated with this tour. I thought I would provide you with a progress report on these goals, and also some other goals we hadn’t yet published.
As of today, September 3 , we’ve cycled 2,456 miles. We’re making good progress toward our goal of 4,000 miles and an October arrival at the Atlantic Ocean.
As for fundraising, we have raised $14,164 thus far, which is only 14% of our goal, but is still a good chunk of change. Some of the pledges are based on mileage, so those pledge amounts will grow as we log more miles. We’ve spent much of our time off the bikes working social media, emailing contacts, and soliciting certain corporate or high-profile concerns that we thought would be sympathetic to our cause. Therefore, we have many leads out there that haven’t yet weighed in with support. Time will tell how those leads will pan out.
If you know of anyone or any organization that might be interested in pledging financial support to TheHopeLine, won’t you please plug them into what we’re doing? Perhaps the easiest way is to share our tour status page, or this post. If you have not already pledged your support to TheHopeLine, why not do so now at this webpage?
Debbie and I also set some goals for our hope coaching efforts during the tour. It was difficult to anticipate just how much time we could devote to coaching while on the road. We knew we would have some off days, and that we’d likely try to connect with some youth on Sunday evenings, when we normally would coach from home. So, we decided to try for 100 total interactions, with 20 of those interactions suicide interventions. Those seemed like stretch goals, even more so now after having some time to increase our interaction count during an extended break in Sioux City.To date, we have handled 25 interactions, which is 25% of our goal. Of those interactions, seven have been suicide interventions, which is 35% of our goal. That’s a relatively high number of suicide interventions for the number of chats that we’ve handled, but it’s indicative of just how prevalent this issue has become with our youth. To put our goal in context, TheHopeLine has a goal of intervening in over 3,500 suicides during 2014.