Fuller Center’s Tour de Florida, a charity ride with a home-building twist

By FloridaBicyclist
Fuller Center Tour de Florida
Rides participate in a Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure. | Photo Courtesy The Fuller Center for Housing

Not only will the group of 18 cyclists currently riding the Fuller Center for Housing’s Tour de Florida put down the hammer on the bike, they’ll also pick up a hammer to help end poverty housing.

The Tour de Florida is one of a handful of fundraising rides organized by the Fuller Center. In a twist from the standard charity ride, these rides feature Fuller Center build days, where cyclists help build or rehabilitate homes for low-income families.

Bill Black, who is a mostly retired resident of Washington, DC is riding this year’s tour. It’s his 7th ride with the organization.

“We’ll be riding through the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ian, which seems appropriate for a program that provides housing for people in trouble,” Black posted in his online fundraising page. “I can assure you that almost literally every penny that you donate to my ride will go to housing for people in need.  We shower in donated facilities, sleep in churches and eat donated food.  So, if housing the poor is a priority for your charitable giving, I can’t imagine a better way to put your money to work toward that end.”

The two-week tour will cover 800 miles, starting in Tallahassee on Jan. 5 and ending in Key West on Jan. 22. During the ride, cyclists will complete build days in Tallahassee and Brooksville. Each cyclist must pay a registration fee and then raise a minimum of $2,000.

Since the first ride in 2008 cyclists have raised more than $4 million. Since they sleep, shower and eat in local churches along the way, the Fuller Center states that 97% of the money raised goes to back to the cause instead of supporting the ride.

The Fuller Center for Housing is a Christian non-profit organization founded in 2005 by Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller, who died in 2009. For more information on the organization or its bike adventures, visit https://www.fullercenterbikeadventure.org/