Divine Ride III fights homelessness
"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." A simple statement, this verse from 1 Corinthians lingers in the hearts and minds of those who serve at Memorial United Methodist Church.
On Aug. 10, the church will once again share God’s glory with students from Thomasville City Schools through The Divine Ride III.
Tracy Brinkley, avid cyclist, event coordinator and founder of Project Divine Interruption, describes the ride as a way to minister to 100 students in the TCS district considered by federal standards to be homeless.
"People hear the words homeless, food insecurity, poverty and are frozen, thinking there is nothing they can do," Brinkley said. "Instead of being frozen, all it takes is getting involved with one person, entering into another's world, to change your perspective."
Without a registration fee, The Divine Ride III relies on the love offering of its participants. According to Brinkley, 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the children.
The Divine Ride started in August 2010 when Russ Gobble, president and CEO of the American Children's Home, organized the event to help Brinkley with mounting medical expenses. Brinkley, who organizes several MUMC projects, continued the legacy of that first event by renaming the annual cycling adventure that features 10-, 30- and 50-mile courses that begin and end at the church.
She also changed the event’s focus.
“Initially, Tracy’s Ride was called the Surprise Ride,” Gobble said. “We called it the Surprise Ride because we knew that if she found out what we were planning, she would insist that any funds raised go to help others.
“For the past two years, all of the proceeds from this event have gone to further the mission of PDI. We, the cycling community, are proud to help Tracy further her vision for those who face insurmountable obstacles.”
PDI recently gained national attention when it was one of three projects discussed in the presentation which earned Thomasville All-America City honors. Brinkley said the exposure can do nothing but help the group's goal to reduce hunger in the area.
"We will definitely, unashamedly, ride the momentum of All-America City," Brinkley said. "Our mission is to carry on the work we started, ride that momentum of hope and take as many people along with us as we can."
Anyone who wishes to contribute to the cause without participating as a cyclist may purchase a Project Divine Interruption poster, available at the church, with a donation of $10 or more. For more information, contact Tracy Brinkley at 880-5875 or visit www.projectdivineinterruption.org.
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.