In Tehillim (Psalms), David Hamelech, King David, writes, “The world is built upon kindness” (89, 3).
This phrase is the foundation of my being. The foundation I grew up with as the daughter of parents and granddaughter to grandparents who constantly gave to our community in Montreal.
As a result of that foundation, I began to volunteer for Chai Lifeline more than 15 years ago. Chai Lifeline is the ultimate Chesed organization. Dedicated and devoted volunteers and community members who ultimately give of their skills, their time, their expertise, their love – to families and children who are suffering. To offer them respite, support, visits, meals, camp, trips, satellite classrooms and much much more. There is nothing that Chai Lifeline won’t do to help a family who is struggling emotionally, physically and financially through a battle that no one should ever have to fight and one that no one can ever be prepared for.
Six years ago, my love for the outdoors found me relearning how to ride a bike. My husband and I took our children around our neighborhood and surprisingly enough I proved that one does not forget how to ride a bike, even if they hadn’t ridden one since their teenage years. My newfound love for bike riding took me on the paths of Montreal and I discovered parts of our beautiful city that I had never seen before. (Montreal is an island surrounded by the St. Lawrence river and many of the bike paths follow alongside the river).
Through my volunteering for Chai Lifeline I heard about a cycling challenge called Bike4Chai for men and soon learned that a Chai Lifeline women’s cycling event had just been added as well.
This was my introduction to TOUR DE SIMCHA! A 125 km (75 mile) ride in the Catskill mountains. Tour de Simcha is a charity ride (it’s not a race 🙂) and the proceeds of the funds raised help send our Chai Lifeline warriors to Camp Simcha. Well, they had me at “Chesed through biking” and I was sold.
This year I will be riding in my Sixth Tour de Simcha bikeathon from Woodlake, New Jersey to Camp Simcha alongside 10 other Montreal Rockstar Women whom I recruited this year to take on the challenge of riding outdoors (some are indoor spin enthusiasts and had never ridden outdoors before, let alone taken on 125 km!!). I cannot be prouder of these women who undertook to train despite being full time mothers, wives and working as well. They also undertook to RAISE the funds to send kids to Camp Simcha because they know that otherwise these kids would not get to experience camp at all; because of the restrictions of their debilitating and serious illnesses. Camp Simcha is fully medically supported (doctors, nurses, paramedics) to accommodate the needs of these sick kids, and they often have to continue administering medication to the warriors who are still undergoing their treatment regimens.
If you spot one of our Tour de Simcha riders on the paths training, or if you are in the Catskills on July 3rd, honk and cheer them on.
And take the time to show your support of Camp Simcha by donating to our ride for the kids who will be going this summer. All 400 of them from all over the world! That will be the ultimate Chesed that YOU will be showing these kids. Simply click here.
Thank you! And Happy Cycling to all.