With the arrival of 2018 (and a little bit...), that marks the close of the 8th annual Rappstar Charity Challenge for World Bicycle Relief. This year, we - and I want to emphasize that it is a collective effort by all of us - raised $63,100, breaking our $60,000 goal mark. That's one of the most successful years ever for this fundraiser. In what I call "WBR Math," that's 429 bicycles into the field. And with the $-for-$ match through end of the year, that's 858 bicycles. Wow. Thank you! Every year, I'm always a bit daunted by the task of trying to do this, and every year people have come through in bigger and better ways to help me. Amazing. I cannot think of a better way to both end 2017 and start 2018 (who really cares about January anyway).
Some of you may wonder what happens now. First, I've built a spreadsheet of names and donation amounts that I use to make draw prizes from. There's a bit of extra math for the extra chance for those who donated 9 or more bikes ($1,323+), but I suppose I better use that engineering degree for something useful. After that, I use Random.org to generate random (really, random enough) numbers. Then I contact folks by email. If somehow I can't get through on email, I've used Twitter and Facebook in the past to hunt people down as well. So keep your eyes and ears open.
Overall, 2017 was another incredible year for World Bicycle Relief. They now have 384,025 bicycles in the field (and counting). But to think about the impact that you all have made, over 1% of all of those bikes have come just from this fundraiser. Just us. 1% is a lot. That the team at World Bicycle Relief can count on this effort - because of people like you - year after year, that is an incredible difference maker.
In the nine years that we have been doing this together, we've raised six hundred thousand dollars. Wow again! In the past 12 years, World Bicycle Relief has grown from an idea into one of the most impactful and efficient and well respected philanthropic organizations in the world. So that was a powerful reminder of both the need and the impact of these efforts. It's a reminder of the Power of Bicycles! And a testament to the power of you!
So thank you for all that you have given. Thank you again to all of those folks who chipped in prizes (in alphabetical order): First Endurance, Kiwami North America, NormaTec, Quarq, ROKA, Specialized, SRAM, Zipp, and Zwift.
Lastly, I'd also like to thank Dan Empfield and everyone else at Slowtwitch, who basically allow me to use this site to leverage its reach and influence. Without the support of Slowtwitch, I wouldn't raise a fraction of what I do. So a big, big thank you there.
And now, let's put a close on this year's fundraiser by looking ahead with the words of a recipient of a Buffalo bike, Beene (age 14) - "ONLY SOMEONE WHO LOVES YOU CAN GIVE YOU SUCH A GIFT BEFORE YOU HAVE EVEN MET."