Gainesville Student to Bike Across America with Bike & Build

A Ride for Affordable Housing with Bike & Build

Jamie-Shalvey-2Lake Manassas resident, Jamie Shalvey, will be cycling over 4000 miles from the shores of Providence, RI to the shores of Seattle, WA this summer to bring awareness to the growing need for affordable housing.

Jamie, a 2012 Battlefield High School graduate and fourth year student at University of Virginia, will be joining about thirty other riders who have signed on with Bike & Build—a nonprofit organization that benefits affordable housing and empowers young adults for a lifetime of service and civic engagement. Bikers from all over the country, and world, participate in seven separate coast-to-coast routes for this cause.

The eleven-week ride includes ten or more Build Days with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together in which the crew will spend a day at build sites doing drywall, painting, landscaping or any other project that will help to bring a family that much closer to an affordable home.

Along the route, the riders will stop to take in the sights and “camp out” each night at a designated host site which may be a school, church or community center. The Bike and Build group will offer presentations to the local community in an effort raise awareness for their cause.

The bike route starts with the challenging New England and Catskills terrain into the “flat” farmland states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. The Badlands, the Tetons and Yellowstone (South Dakota into Wyoming) follow, capped off by Montana. The final stretch takes a brief pass through Idaho into Washington and on to Seattle. The ride literally ends with a plunge into the ocean!

Since her second year at UVA, Jamie has been actively involved in a co-ed service fraternity—Alpha Phi Omega (APO)—a group that is committed to service every day of the week throughout the Charlottesville community. Her work with APO, as well as fellow members who have done this ride before, inspired Jamie to take the challenge on herself.

Bike&BuildMap“I love Charlottesville, but I’ve seen in recent years the wealth disparities and high levels of poverty in the area. I’m very grateful to APO for allowing me to break the bubble the university can create and be a helping hand to the over 900 nonprofits working to make Charlottesville better,” says Jamie.

“Recently I’ve become more aware of the need for affordable housing in Charlottesville. Volunteering at Sunrise, the nation’s first mobile home park to be redeveloped without resident displacement, and other Habitat for Humanity related events has showed me the side of Charlottesville that I may not have been aware of otherwise,” Jamie adds.

Jamie will be training for her ride this spring as she prepares to graduate in May with a degree in English and Global Studies in Education. She will start her journey just a week after graduation and will begin applying to graduate Public Administration programs this fall with a focus on the nonprofit sector.

Donations are welcomed for this worthwhile cause. Help Jamie reach her goal of $4500 and be part of the movement for affordable housing. To learn more and make a tax-deductible contribution to this worthy cause visit:
bikeandbuild.org/rider/8696

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See this article in the Spring 2016 of Haymarket Homeowner: