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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Dozens of local volunteers mounted their bicycles in support of local charity, riding more than 20 miles before celebrating with live music and food in Buccleuch Park.
The event, which began and concluded at the Buccleuch Park pavilion in New Brunswick, was held with the aim of raising funds for Triple C Housing.
Their stated objective is to expand “affordable housing opportunities complimented by supportive services to individuals, families, and veterans impacted by a disability, who are experiencing homelessness or long term hospitalization.”
“We’ve been working with individuals in the community for 42 years, and our role is really to get them re-acclimated into the community… and to support them in whatever they feel they’re interested in, whether it be regaining employment, connecting with family, or just living stably in the community,” said Triple C’s COO Kim Ewell.
As we reported in April 2018, Triple C opened a 12-unit apartment building for homeless residents on Zebra Way in New Brunswick.
The Dream Project was started in 2013 by five Rutgers students who set out on a 1,615-mile cycling journey (from New Brunswick to Orlando, Florida) with the aim of raising awareness for pediatric cancer.
Since then, this handful of “dreamers” have grown into a full-fledged, student-run grassroots initiative – drawing in and supporting many community-oriented student volunteers.
“I believe that the more we can do to make philanthropy an accessible, teachable concept for those undergraduate students at a juncture in their lives where they are trying to figure out who they want to become and how they want to contribute to the world around them, the more we can ensure the rise of a more civically engaged generation,” said Gabby Rossi, the “head dreamer” and organizer of the August 15 event.
“This year the team [is] biking up and down the state to help our communities back on their feet. They’re tackling all twenty-one counties with 30 volunteer stops in 30 days, supporting social service organizations across New Jersey.”
So far this year, the organization has seen considerable success, with the recent event bringing in $13,000 for Triple C.
Vivian Lee, a Rutgers student and “Dream Team” rider, has already exceeded her 2021 goal of raising $3,000.
Lee relayed her motivations: “I wanted to be able to challenge myself – my body, my mind – to do something that I’ve never had the opportunity to do before, and Triple C is such a great organization that I was like – ‘okay, I have to do this.’”
The round-trip ride from New Brunswick to East Brunswick was facilitated by NJ State Troopers, who escorted the riders safely along the route.