So I feel that I have been asked at least 100 times or more (at this point) whether or not I am riding for or raising money for a charity. Usually I keep the answer pretty simple to – “No.” Sometimes I say “Not at this time or Nothing officially.”
I have always had plans to figure ways to tie my passions to this ride. In the beginning I had far too much on my plate getting this ride started to worry about promoting my passions. Early into the ride it became apparent that the focus during the winter crossing of Canada would be about surviving the elements. I have also been very aware of the fact that I am a one man show and am only capable of so much in a day. Between pedaling, camping, social media engagement and documenting my days are already very very full.
[In the beginning] while I was pedaling my passions were never far from my mind. And then a whole other dynamic started to enter the picture. As my supporters are aware the random acts of generosity that I was experiencing along the way were beyond comprehension. Almost every day multiple random acts of kindness were overtaking this ride. Leaving me very scared to insert or input anything that did not evolve naturally.
But after the 100th or so inquiry about a charity I figured I had nothing to lose by putting out a Facebook poll. So On February 4, 2020 I posted a poll.
I guess I am not surprised by the results. If I expected anything it would have been a few more votes for No. What I wasn’t expecting was all the comments and the nature of the comments. I have copied and pasted approximately 95% of the comments without the authors names (as that is not necessary). You can find these comments at the bottom/end of this blog post.
Anyways, the results are pretty apparent to me – No charity at this point.
But what about into the future. First things first – I would never make this ride about a charity – officially. That being said – I do have a pretty huge passion for trees and reforestation. I have plans of devoting the rest of my life to this passion. I have always had plans or a desire to find away to connect the two. After all this ride will not last forever and I have to have a vision of what life looks like after this ride. Also, I have had plans from the very beginning to take advantage of opportunities that may present themselves to further my education/experiences/contributions to trees and reforestation during my ride.
At the time of writing this post the ride is about Maritime/Atlantic Canada generosity. It is anyone’s guess how this plays out entering Quebec and Ontario. I have now just entered Quebec. And soon spring and summer will be here and I will blend in with all the other cyclist on the road.
I would and will never make this ride about a charity but I will keep a close eye on how this ride and my supporters evolve during the ride moving forward. I feel given the length of time this ride will take it will also go through many seasons. This first season has definitely been about Atlantic Canada generosity. While crossing Canada I will continue to prioritize the many interactions I will end up having with fellow Canadians. I am very curious as to how this ride evolves over the next month and half riding into the Golden Horseshoe of Ontario.
I should mention that when it comes to my passions – these are my passions and my idea or plans would mostly revolve around educating or gaining experience for myself and putting my own money where my mouth is. Those that want to dig deeper with me will and those that don’t will simply scroll past the posts.
Undoubtedly this is a very sensitive topic where a tremendous amount of wisdom and timing is needed. Also, as some of my blogs have alluded to 2019 was personally a very challenging year for me and many of my supporters have recognized that and have been quick to point out the need to take personal time during this ride better than I have been able to recognize the need for it. (See comments below).
I do have a Passions Page on my website and you can reach that page here.
I have also written a few blog post around my passions.
How I Plant To Save The Planet
What does my bike ride have to do with my passion to have the planet covered in trees?
For further reading about riding for a charity check out these two links
Why your noble plan to cycle or run across Canada for charity is probably a bad idea
Fundraising in a post Terry Fox era
Comments that were posted as a result of the poll
- No,…unless it’s something you feel like doing. It would change the dynamic of what you set out to do l think
- What you are actually doing is raising awareness of human charity, isn’t it? Most of your host have invited you into their home out of the goodness of their hearts, fed you warm food and given you warm wishes on your journey. Isn’t the charity of strangers and the humanity of our fellow humans enough without raising money?
- Promote the awareness of the kindness of people who give so much to ones tour.
- That is what I was saying.. if you can run this kindness cross country.. that can be your cause! Keep it up!
- I like the spirit of Safari Arie, if you were to chose a cause it would be faith in humanity and random giving…Nova Scotia in my mind is the best at this mentality… I hope New Brunswick/ Canada can keep it going..
- They ask because they feel you need a reason to do this. Maybe they can’t comprehend your reasons which I imagine are personal. Best soul searching technique there is. Enjoy your adventure.
- I have been asked that on all my expedition cycle and hiking trips these last few years. People assume if you are doing a long(ish) trip that you must be raising money for a cause. I can see the appeal – and you have causes you believe in – but it adds a layer of logistics and complexity to a journey that already has much of both. But, am sure that over 3 years you could raise a little of money. I am not voting – it is your journey and your decision, and I will agree with whichever choice you make.
- That would and should be your decision if that’s what you want to start. I think most people would be in favour of it. I would be.
- On my tour many people gave me money and then I personally donated that to causes along the way. My tour was self funded and I did not need the people’s money. But people like to give, so I accepted and then regave it. You show that you have accepted money along the way, just donate that back to a local cause in the area and promote that as your cause
- I like that you raising people’s interest in kindness to strangers and adventure! You may inspire others to get out there and trust the world!
- Arie, focus on your bike ride, your safety, your health, your thoughts, your writing and well being. You have and will touch the lives and hearts of so many people on this journey, and fill them with inspiration. Stay the course.
- When I read your site about why you were riding in the winter, it sounded like you were looking to challenge yourself. There is nothing wrong with doing something “epic” for yourself. For me, that would be reason enough to ride. Safe travels!!
- Your choice but then there’s politics involved and your trip will probably end up with timelines. Meetings, etc. Just do it
- Keep enjoying what you are doing, doing it for charity may ruin that.
- Do what you originally went for.
- It’s fun. I did it one time. Got me on the radio, magazines, internet people along the route donated. Riding for a cause opens cycling to a section of people who may not have had any interest until you raised $ for their cause. I was fortunate the organization I road for did all the work I just had to ride
- Rather than raise money for some organization… since your tour is over a long period. You can share a personal passion or skill in various communities and schools. Give talks to kids on following a dream.
- This is your adventure! I will back you no matter what you choose. But I think you started all of this for Arie, not a charity. Enjoy your time on the road and the strangers you meet along the way turn in to friends. A charity might ruin YOUR vision on YOUR adventure. Enjoy the ride!
Maybe next time add a cause or charity but, you have the followers you do because of You. If people give you money along the way and at the end of you ride you encounter a great cause along the way, then make a donation if you feel like it.
- I’m sure that there is a good cause that would benefit from your celebrity
- Maybe not …I believe this journey is for you, your mind ,your body, your journey, therapy for you.
- Yes! Generosity is always a great idea!
- I think no. People are being generous to you. If you start a charity then any money handed to you, to help you, on your journey, you may feel all should go to the charity.
- I voted no, that being said, if anyone feels the inclination to contribute to your passion projects, I would encourage that avenue, without morphing your ride into an official “fundraiser” at this point.
- Not now concentrate on the journey ahead…
- This is for you. Maybe down the road you could do another ride for a charity.
- I voted no. I believe this ride should be for you and only you Arie
- It’s a complex question. We partnered with a charity on our cross Canada ride and it was a wonderful experience but each situation is different. Fundraising would add extra demands on you and could add some stress that you don’t need. In the end, it’s your decision.
- It’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.Barack Obama
- Not that I don’t think a charity would benefit greatly from what you are doing but I also think people are making their donations to you personally because you are inspiring people and they want to see you succeed in your journey. Doing it for a charity would take away from that
- I voted NO!! This is your journey and that alone is gonna be hard. Concentrate on your own well being for now .. Maybe another journey down the road would be applicable.. Just follow your dream for now.
- I voted NO. To be honest this is for you & your personal journey. This is focusing on yourself and inspiring challenge. If individuals is passing you money, then they are doing it cause you are inspiring them and touches them. So I would say Arie Hoogerbrugge keep this journey as a focusing point on yourself. Good luck buddy and I can honestly say you are a inspiration to us all. It’s amazing journey that I look forward to following up on daily. It started out on a one man journey and now amazing friendship journey. Keep up the great work buddy. Cheers!
- I voted no. Don’t soil your adventure by making it about money. Most “charities” have CEO’s who are making multi-million dollar salaries. It’s great watching people give to you for kindness sake.
- I voted NO as well Arie, and agree with a lot of the comments already posted. This journey is difficult enough without adding another layer.
- Right now everyone seems to like you cause you are you. Thinking it might be good not to gum it up with politics of charities. Also keeps the mystery alive. Who is Safari Arie? It’s always more romantic when we can imagine great things. But I could really go either way. I have been wondering why I hadn’t seen your tree cause. Thought maybe you were growing a following first.
The trip is also serving to hi-light the incredible generosity and kindness of Atlantic Canadians. That is a worthy goal in itself.
- I vote no. The day I met you we chatted a little and I think my husband may have asked you this question. I think it’s wonderful what you are doing. I’ve read comments and enjoy seeing the pictures you post. Makes me believe there are still good people in this world. Do this for you and if you at some point along the journey you feel like helping someone out along the way then by all means do so. Keep doing what you’re doing and enjoy every second of it. Life is short.
- Write a book when it’s over and you can donate half the profit to a charity but for now enjoy the journey and stick with your original goal (although I can see that evolving a bit as you go)
- No agenda but the journey!
- I said NO, I think you should continue your journey with the same intention that you started with. Enjoy the trip and your personal accomplishments without feeling that you need to be doing something for someone else.
- I agree with no, however, if folks are moved to help others as a result of meeting you, they should do so on their own, there are many in need.
- …it would no longer be your own journey then.
- I maybe see it a different way. Arie is great, and what he is doing is awesome. I was just thinking that if he put a facebook only charity fundraiser aspect to it, he could impact change as well. At the end of the day, his journey and vision are all that matters. Keep on going, you’re doing an incredible thing.
- I also voted no. This journey is for you to see Canada and meet people l would have loved to met you when you were in Walton. l didn’t know you were here until it was too late. Safe travels and keep warm.
- Don’t ruin your own personal journey!
- I agree, this is your journey. Hearing you say how much this trip has meant to you already, tells me you should keep doing what you are doing.
- This is your journey and now it has become the journey of many simply by allowing it to unfold.
Seeing the kind of generosity of time, resources and spirit that folks are doling out to you — as an individual — is truly inspiring and is already benefiting many!! Folks are being reminded that kindness is a natural state and is contagious!! Adding a monetary goal to that — regardless of how honourable — May somehow taint that. If that makes sense.
I am inspired however to make a donation to a charity on your behalf. What cause means the most to you?
- Arie, you have always had a concern for reforestation. This journey might be a nice way to bring awareness as you have personal experiences from your home in Belize. One suggestion is to bring awareness without specifically raising funds for this, and for you to set aside a percentage of what you get towards reforestation, or some other charity. If you intentionally start raising money, it will add more stress on you. Just enjoy your ride.
- I think you just need to stop thinking about everything else, and take a minute, you already know what you want to achieve, so just keep doing you. This is your journey and your story. Don’t take away from that by making it a charity ride. If people want to donate on your behalf that’s fine.
After posting this blog post on Facebook I received a bunch more responses. That being said I am not sure exactly how many of these people read the actual blog post.
The following are the comments collected from this post on Facebook
- I think you could do sections of your trips for charity and still have the trip be about you.
End of the day, it’s your vision, charity or no charity, and your call. But if you decide to go through x city, and while you’re there in that place, set an online GoFundMe or something for x issue the city faces, your trip doesn’t change. Your digital fans in that area can donate as they will, and your interactions don’t change. It’s all digital, so people can’t give you physical money either. Just an idea. I understand why people bring it up. It takes the movers of the world to inspire people to change things, and you are definitely moving. Lol.
- Still a no. If you finish in the black and have money left over donate if you want. I think adding a charity will set some rigid perimeters on your trip. Gofund me + good idea because south America might get rough
- I think you should do what your heart tells. Take care and be safe
- This is your passion. We are all free to give to a charity of our choice. You don’t have to take on something for a cause, pick a charity folks and give.
- Just my opinion…..but I feel that this should not be a charity event…….it is a deeply personal journey for you……and as such there should be no distractions. This journey is like a book opening, page by page before you. We are allowed to be an audience, and though you may solicit opinions, your decisions should only ever be your own. I think you have made another good decision.
- I think you need to ask yourself a question….What is my motivation for doing this ride? Having said that, is it a bad thing to incorporate an additional reason or motivation, regardless of what your initial intent was? I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to that question….it’s YOUR ride Arie! Peace brother!
- I think most of us are of the same mind…….this is about YOU, and we’re all very supportive of that. Burn some rubber today, dude!
- I’m sure you will sort it out. I would donate if it ends up to be a fundraiser or will follow your post if it continues to be a journey to sort out who Arie is and where he is headed. Safe and happy travels.
- Ride for yourself. You are inspiring us through the ride. No need to add pressure to raise money also
- Charity it seems would add a little too much political correctness in my opinion. Your journey so far is so raw and real. And we love hearing about where you are next. You’re doing what most Canadians dream of doing but never put in the effort to do.For me, it’s seeing someone do something I would love to do but honestly would probably never do. So, ride on Arie! We’re all cheering you on
- Still voting NO Arie. Same reasons as before although I see someone has suggested you write a book when you are finished and donate the profits to one of your passions. That’s a good idea if you choose to go that route.
- In my opinion Arie you have a lot of publicity now and it’s growing every day. Do this Journey for you!! I think having a charity at this moment would be very stressful on you .. Maybe another adventure down the road .. But make this Journey about You!!
- Just do it for your own sake..Can always do a charity ride next time. It’s no effort to spend time on the couch and view your posts dude! Your living the dream mate.. Awesome! I’ve dreamt of pedaling across Canada and still would like to try one day.. maybe.. yada yada.. we’ll see!
Keep up the great posts!
- I didn’t vote, as I told you, but am not surprised at the result. Like you, am a bit surprised it wasn’t more definitive, although Brexit and Newfoundland joining Canada were closer votes… The main thing is that you keep going and doing the superb job of keeping us all updated and involved!
- Along with 11 more No’s