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

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.