Gears for Giving: Changing Lives, One Gear at a Time

Posted on 06/20/2011 by

Scott Birnbaum

Interested in making a difference while contributing to a good cause?

 In just a couple weeks on June 28, my son, Jeffrey Birnbaum, a medical student at Emory University, and I plan on giving back to some of our favorite charities by riding our bikes across the state of California in 12 days!

 We plan to bike from San Jose, CA to Los Angeles to raise money for several charities including: Samsung Hope for Children, Boomer Esiason Foundation, Dan Marino Foundation, Jimmie Johnson Foundation, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

That’s pedaling 550 miles for some great causes. We’ll be biking uphill, downhill, around mountains, and through the woods. Talk about a physical challenge!

 Here’s how we’ll set up our trip:

Day 1     June 28                SSI to Santa Cruz                              45 Miles

Day 2     June 29                Santa Cruz to Monterrey               52 Miles

Day 3     June 30                Monterrey to Big Sur                      45 Miles

Day 4     July 1                    Big Sur to San Simeon                     68 Miles

Day 5     July 2                    Resting Day

Day 6     July 3                    San Simeon to Pismo Bch              62 Miles

Day 7     July 4                    Pismo Beach to Ballard                  63 Miles

Day 8     July 5                    Ballard to Santa Barbara 60 Miles

Day 9     July 6                    Santa Barbara to Ventura              40 Miles

Day 10   July 7                    Ventura to Santa Monica               65 Miles

Day 11   July 8                    Santa Monica to LA Area               25 Miles

Day 12   July 9                    LA to Hollywood                              20 Miles

You’ll even be able to track the donations we raise, as well as our progress along the route by following us on Twitter and Facebook. There will also be plenty of pictures of our excursion as we’ll be using Samsung technology to upload these photos in real time! But why this biking trip now? 

 Well, my son Jeffrey joined a campaign called Bike and Build back in 2009. He and 30 other kids completed a 60-day, 3600 mile cross country mile bike ride which eventually raised $130,000 for charity. Since then, Jeffery has encouraged me to start riding as a way to get in shape.  I am now an avid bike rider and I’ve lost sixty pounds in the last year or so. Jeffery’s remarkable ride has encouraged me to create “Gears for Giving” with the goal of helping others. It’s very special to me when a father can look to his son to become a better person. Samsung also plans to support my son and I in our philanthropic efforts by matching employee contributions penny for penny!

In the end, 100 percent of the funding that we receive during our “Gears for Giving” campaign will be donated and used to fight against cancer, cystic fibrosis, widespread hunger and other worthy causes.

Just imagine-those 550 miles will make a difference for the life of a child or adult in need. Can you think of any other creative ways to raise money for charity? Please share your thoughts.

If you’d like to donate to a charity for Samsung’s “Gears for Giving” campaign, feel free to read more about the listed charities and click on the links below: 

Boomer Esiason Foundation

The Boomer Esiason Foundation is a dynamic partnership of leaders in the medical and business communities joining with a committed core of volunteers to heighten awareness, education and the quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis, while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure.

Dan Marino Foundation

The Dan Marino Foundation was established by Dan and Claire Marino in 1992. The Foundation’s mission is to “open doors” towards independence for the Autism community, children with special needs, teenagers transitioning from foster care and young adults with disabilities. The Foundation fulfills this mission by supporting comprehensive integrated treatment programs, providing outreach services, advancing scientific research, and building independence through employment and daily living transition programs. The Foundation has raised over $31 million since its inception, which has been used to fund major medical research, build the Miami Children’s Hospital Dan Marino Center, and operate life-changing programs.

Jimmie Johnson Foundation

Founded by five-time reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson and his wife Chandra, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation is dedicated to assisting children, families and communities in need.  Partner programs include the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Champions Grant program, the Hendrick Marrow Program, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, and the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte.

 St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®

The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Since opening in 1962, St. Jude has made great discoveries in how to treat deadly childhood diseases like cancer and saving the lives of kids around the world. Doctors send some of their toughest cases and sickest patients to St. Jude. And, consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

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12 Responses to Gears for Giving: Changing Lives, One Gear at a Time

  • Brian Kresevic says:

    Hey Scott–Great Job!! I am an avid cyclist also and would love to join you next year if you make this an annual event. Good luck!! Brian

  • Scott Birnbaum says:

    Day one was very tough. Tons of rain. Missed turns. Jeff and I both fell once. I found our rain, mud, hills and road bikes packed with gear don’t mix well.

    We made it to Aptos after dark. It was cold.

    Day 2 much better. Sunny skies. Great ride. Made it to Monterrey early. Stocked up at Trader Joes.

    Wish us luck tomorrow. Day 3 Big Sur. Big hills.

    Thanks for all the encouragement.

  • Michael Ribero says:

    Like father, like son…both impressive, competitive and selfless. Good luck! Mike

  • Joel Pollack says:

    Hi Scott,

    I am more than impressed that you are both willing and able to make this kind of ride. My thoughts and prayers are with you for a safe and successful ride to LA.


  • Scott birmbaum says:

    Can’t believe we just finished day 6. We are camping under the stars in Oceana just outside of Pismo Beach. The weather is awesome. 60 miles today somehow seemed easy.

    Thid adventure is incredible. So many stories, but do many more nice people.

    Thanks for allin the support and for your generosity in supporting these four great charities.

  • Scott birmbaum says:

    Happy 4th of July from sunny Lompoc. Today Jeff and I took on our steepest climb yet.

    Before getting to our big climb we had a little too much excitement. On a long flat ride I hit a small pot hole just as I was leaning back. The jolt forced my bag off on bike. Jeff was right behind me. Luckily the bag fell to the left as it hit the road and Jeff was a bit to
    the right. So lucky.

    The climb was tough and Jeff only beat me by 18 minutes. Not bad for an old guy.

    Day 8 tomorrow…Santa Barbara. Honing in on Hollywood.

    What an adventure…what great causes.

    Go viral…tell your friends…make a difference for a kid.

  • scott birmbaum says:

    Please post this as I am getting an error on the voices blog. Thanks.

    Day 9 beautiful night here in Carpenteria outside of Santa Barbara. We are camping right next to ocean. The only challenge is we are next to the train tracks. Fun at first but a bit loud.

    Our Longest day yet, 75 miles. I wanted to go for a century, but Jeff and I ageed not to push it tonight.

    Getting close to our goal.

    Hollywood here we come in a few days.

    Thanks everyone. Keep the comments coming.

    Ride on.

  • scott birmbaum says:

    Guess who is in Malibu overlooking the ocean. You got it . Me and Jeff.

    We pushed a little harder each day and expect to finish a day earlier than our original plan.

    If all goes we will be in Hollywood celebrating tomorrow.

    Each day has been a gift. A day with my son enjoying

  • Kicho says:

    It was great to here your voice today. Hope you enjoy your last day to hollywood.

  • scott birmbaum says:

    We did it!!!!

    We arrived in Hollywood at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

    We made it two days earlier than planned . No major injuries or any bike problems. This was an a truly amazing adventure. We loved every minute of it. I am truly sad to see it end. Now it’s time to celebrate.

    before we do, I need to thank my family, my friends and all our fallowers for their generous donations and support of the great causes we rode for over the last 10 days.

    Next year maybe I’ll take on a new challenge with my daughter, Brittany. Who knows what could be next.

    I world love to hear your thoughts.

    All the best.

  • kenneth koo says:

    Congratulation to enter LA safely and successfully. Relax there and see you in next week in San Jose.

  • Hey Scott, great work! I so envy you. I thought I was a good boy today to bike 25 miles, but not for any worthy cause other than phys ed. You have given me the gift of something great to do together with my own son. Thank-you.

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