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Beaches Habitat for Humanity has been hosting our Southern US teams for a decade! In 2009 they hosted SUS for the first time and it has been a wonderful partnership ever since.

We sat down with Sarah Jared from Beaches Habitat to learn more about the past decade with B&B.

Why do you continue to invite our teams back to work with you each year?
It has been so much fun getting to meet the riders as they’re meeting each other. The enthusiasm and the curiosity they bring are energizing for our staff and they also keep up on our toes with really insightful questions!

What sort of projects have our teams volunteered on over the years?
This is a rough estimate, but I would say that B&B has had a hand in around 70 projects since 2009 – that has mostly been construction of new homes, but there have also been a handful of owner occupied repairs and rehabs, as well as some projects like helping to organize our warehouse and landscaping the common areas of a couple neighborhoods.

Do you have a favorite memory with Bike & Build?
Over 10 years, that’s hard to narrow down! One year, we decided to host a barbecue for the whole SUS group. I don’t think any of us were prepared for how much food 30+ riders could eat after a full day of construction. We were sweating over a grill for a very long time! It was so much fun, though, and the riders got a chance to hang out with our whole crew in a neighborhood park right in the heart of our service area. It was definitely worth the work!

Build Days provide an invaluable experience for our riders to learn about affordable housing, meet families and beneficiaries and reflect on the state of housing across the U.S. What (if at all) do you think the impact on your community and organization is when our teams come through?
The most obvious answer is how much the riders get done! The other big impact has been the awareness that B&B raises. One of my favorite things is watching the riders dip their tires in the Atlantic before starting the first day’s ride. There hasn’t been a single wheel dip where I haven’t had someone stop me to ask what’s going on. It’s a great chance to explain the mission of Bike & Build and to connect it to our local community and the work that Beaches Habitat is doing too. I’m grateful for the chance to talk about affordable housing with a random stranger on the beach who may have never thought about it until they saw a bunch of bicycles lined up in the sand!