My name is Katie Swanson. I'm 24 years old and I live in Indianapolis, IN. I graduated from Purdue University where I studied Management/Marketing and Art & Design. In addition to riding around on my beloved silver bike, I spend a lot of time drawing, reading, watching movies, and trying to explain why my sock monkey has a Facebook account.
I currently work as a proposal writer at an amazing digital marketing company called ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. Before that, I was a grant writer at a non-profit called Junior Achievement. I know firsthand how big of an impact grants and dedicated volunteers can have on a community, and Bike & Buildís mission is something I strongly feel is worth supporting.
Bike & Build, specifically, has made me aware of affordable housing issues that are very real in this country. My best friend Alex (who is also going on this trip!) did Bike & Build in 2011. It was through her involvement that I learned more about the prevalent and startling gap there is between housing costs and many families' ability to pay for it. For instance, there is not a single state in the country where itís possible to work 40 hours per week making minimum wage and afford a two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent. In my home state of Indiana, a minimum wage earner would have to work nearly 80 hours per week for all 52 weeks in a year to afford it!
An absence of affordable housing degrades the health of an entire community and deprives our country from the talents of many capable and enterprising individuals. When people have access to a safe and comfortable home, their employment, medical, and education opportunities greatly improve. When people have their basic needs fulfilled, they can better contribute to solving other problems and making society more robust.
Awareness is critical, but so is action, and I'm so excited that this trip is providing me with a hands-on way to contribute. I hope to gain new perspectives, new friendships, and a deeper understanding of the affordable housing cause. I also look forward to exploring an area of the East Coast that I have never been to. I've been on two, week-long bike trips for charity before but this will be my most ambitious ride yet. If it's anything like my previous experiences, it's going to be incredible, empowering, challenging, exhausting, and rewarding. TIMES THREE. I can't wait.
Let's get driftin!
P.S. Ė Donate to my ride and I promise to send you a postcard from the road this summer! Possible topics could include: cool things I've seen, cycling puns, how sore I am, how much peanut butter I've eaten, what I've been daydreaming about, all of these things, or none of these things. But I'll make it good.
|Katie has currently raised $3,383.|
That's 150% of her $2,250 fundraising goal.