Here's Noah Wagner's fund raising message:
I wanted to write to you because I will be spending this summer doing something a little out of the ordinary—biking across the country with a nonprofit organization called Bike and Build. We will be raising awareness and funds for affordable housing, an issue which affects 14 million Americans who spend more than 50% of their income on substandard housing. I will be riding with 32 other students, pedaling from Providence to San Francisco (4,099 miles to be exact). Along the way, we will help build approximately 6 houses with groups like Habitat for Humanity, who recruit volunteers to build simple, decent, affordable homes, sold at no profit.But I feel this is a slippery slope. I can't donate to all of my students kickstarter projects. There will be no end to this. They're all raising money for their films all the time. (At least the seniors are.)
Since it was founded in 2002, Bike and Build has raised nearly 2.7 million dollars for affordable housing projects. I have committed to raising $4,000, the minimum required to participate, and I am asking for your help in supporting my trip. Your (tax-deductible!) donation, along with my personal contribution of $500, and those of many others who will be supporting my effort, will have a serious impact on the affordable housing landscape throughout the US.
Donations can easily be made by visiting [http://bikeandbuild.org/donate] and choosing “Noah Wagner” from the rider drop down menu. If you have friends or family whom you think would be interested in supporting this venture, please direct them to this site as well.
While there is no deadline on the affordable housing cause itself, I am rapidly approaching the deadline that would permit me to embark on this one-in-a-lifetime charitable trek across the country. As of today, I have raised $2000 of the $4000 required to participate. The deadline to donate on my behalf is May 30th.
In order for me to create a more personal tie between you and your donation, I will keep a blog on my website, starting in June. Throughout the trip I will update it with photographs and journal entries of our efforts. In addition, I will be filming, interviewing, and documenting hundreds of people connected to the trip – from those affected to those working to fix the problem – which will then be turned into a documentary, following the trip. Both will serve as a way for you to see your donation in action, as we build houses and raise awareness throughout the country.
I encourage you to visit Bike & Build’s website [http://www.bikeandbuild.org] for more information. I really hope you will consider making a donation of any size. By doing this, you will help bring one of the most basic comforts of living—a home—to a family in need. Additionally, if you know of anyone who might be willing to donate the affordable housing cause, please send this along. Thank you so much for your support!
And wait a minute... "affordable housing" is actually screwing me over as a potential home buyer at the moment. There are lots of "affordable" units in my neighborhood for sale that aren't getting sold that my husband and I can't buy because out income is too high for the price cap. The units don't move because no one who meets the income requirements qualifies for the loans to buy those apartments. Inversely, the new construction in my neighborhood is for super rich people with twice our combined incomes, double what we can afford. Weirdly a lot of NYC neighborhoods are like that. You have to be rich or poor to live there, screwing over the middle class.