To ride a bicycle across the country to raise awareness of human trafficking & modern day slavery, as well as raise funds for The Oasis Projekt.
This summer, 2012, I will climb atop a recumbent style bicycle on the coast of California, dipping my wheel in the waters of the Pacific ocean, before heading eastward. I will be riding for 60 days, making my way along the most widely used human traffic corridor in the nation, Interstate 10, before heading north to the shores of Lake Erie. I will then head down to Pittsburgh, across to Washington D.C., through Philadelphia, and then on to New York. I will be stopping along the way to give presentations to schools, universities, churches, and organizations, helping raise awareness of human trafficking and the horrors that come along with it. I’ll be stopping to visit rehabilitation homes for women and girls who have endured being forced into slavery, and hopefully meet with local and national politicians to discuss what measures can be enacted to help cut off trafficking at every level in this country.
I’m hoping for some of the following:
- Very few crashes, and no serious falls (this includes riding off a cliff)
- Good weather (although there will be severe heat in the beginning as I cross through Death Valley to Vegas, then Arizona in August) rain, and high winds.
- No flat tires, and no mechanical issues with the bike
- Happy knees and muscles!
- Lots and lots of the people who read this to pass news of this trip along, and follow as make my way east!
Dug Shelby was born in Santa Barbara in 1968, to a native Santa Barbaran (Mom) and an aerospace engineering Los Angelino (Dad). Currently a photographer, he is a former youth counselor and presently a proud uncle to three nieces and one nephew, all of whom are incredible and amazing. Having always been active, Dug ran track and cross country in high school and a little in college, has surfed extensively up and down the coast of California, a little in Mexico, and once for a few hours in Hawaii. After his dad passed away in the summer of 2009, he wanted to get back to his roots of camping and hiking that his dad had instilled in him, and thought he’d take a camping trip here and there…and ended up hiking 2,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2011. While on that hike, he realized that his life’s purpose from that point on would be to help raise awareness of human trafficking and the crimes that go along with it, and raise support for the amazing organizations that are helping to heal the victims of human trafficking. Thus, The Oasis Projekt was started, a not-for-profit organization that is committed to help as many people who have been impacted by the horrors of human trafficking as possible. He currently resides in Northern California with his 8 year old tiger (well, house cat), and has recently gone through the painful decision to sell his 1972 Volkswagen Westfalia, affectionately known as “Twinkie,” to help fund this project. He is currently taking any opportunity you may have for him to photograph weddings, special events, etc., as well! *wink wink* He could use the work!
Who I’m Riding For:
Victims of human trafficking. In other terms, slaves. Every day, thousands of people are being “human trafficked” around the world…basically, tricked, kidnapped, sometimes even sold by their own families…to people who exploit and sell them for profit. The sex trade is filled primarily with trafficked women and children, as is young children in sweat shops, street beggars employed by pimps, and more. Often, they are shipped out of their country, never to see “home” again. Forced into lives of prostitution, hard labor, and unspeakable acts, these victims have very few options. To attempt escape or a refusal to cooperate with their captors could mean death, or at the least, injury and disfigurement. Often, threats to harm their family are used to keep the victims in check, not to mention the shame of what they have recently endured. This is happening around the world in nearly every country, every day, every hour, even as you read this.
Sometimes, these victims are as young as 4 years old.
Your donations will go straight to The Oasis Projekt. The Oasis Projekt is targeting certain organizations that are already working, helping victims of human trafficking. These organizations are doing work both at home and abroad, helping victims of human trafficking get the holistic and medical healing they need, and in some cases, the funds are actually used to buy their freedom. So for this reason, we will know that effective change is happening, and real healing is taking place by professionals who are already on the ground, at the very heart of the issue. If you are an organization that would like to apply for aid from The Oasis Projekt, please contact them using the form at the bottom of the page.
Please help me make a vivid, real difference in the lives of innocent victims of human trafficking. You can be assured that every penny of your donation is being used to bring about real, positive change in a life that desperately needs your help, both in the United States and abroad.
Donations can be sent via PayPal to: firstname.lastname@example.org