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A group of ordinary people come together once a month for a special ride through downtown Atlanta with a simple purpose: to help those in need. Cycling for Good lives up to its name, spreading goodwill throughout the community.

In 2015, Damon Elmore started the club after finishing a fundraiser to raise awareness for a civil legal services program. He wondered what he should do next. He came up with the idea of Cycling for Good as a way to assist people in the city who are experiencing homelessness. “It’s a way to stop and acknowledge that humanity, but it’s a distribution network,” Elmore said.

During these rides, the club members give away care packages. They started out with a few items in a bag, like oranges, water bottles, snack bars, and non-perishables. They have since added more items to the bag. “We’ve evolved in the types of items that we share, and we’ve seen that reading glasses are in high demand. Personal care items are huge, including underwear and socks, T-shirts, Neosporin, alcohol swabs, and hand wipes,” Elmore said.

When the group first started, Elmore was the only one supplying the care packages, but the club quickly evolved as individuals and even organizations began donating. “It has grown, and people come out and bring their own items to contribute,” Elmore said. He also mentioned that some schools and other cycling groups have helped with donations, “I can’t tell you how grateful we are for the partnerships with other organizations.”

People are encouraged to come out and donate items even if they don’t join the ride. Elmore said people can swing by before the monthly ride and donate anything that riders can carry in a backpack. The monthly ride starts at Loose Nuts in Grant Park at noon, and the trips are usually around three to five miles long. 

Through these kind gestures, Elmore is accomplishing the group’s mission, which is simple: to share humanity. “We know we’re not going to solve the homelessness problem. We know we don’t have a lot of answers, and there are a lot of people out there who are passing out food, which is helpful, but we just know that we can share some humanity, which I think is the most important thing,” Elmore said.

Elmore said he has been able to stay connected with some of the people he’s met in the community. He shared a success story of a man who was experiencing homelessness and is now in permanent housing. Since starting the group, Elmore said the community has started to recognize them. “We have seen people react to us and recognize us when we come around. They’re like, ‘Oh, those are the bike people.’” However, Elmore also noted that he has seen an increase in people experiencing homelessness. He stays positive though and hopes that Cycling for Good can make some kind of change. “We’re definitely staying positive and focusing on the people,” Elmore shared.

Elmore said those interested in joining or helping Cycling for Good can contact him through their Instagram page at @Cycling_4_Good. You can also learn more about the group’s monthly rides through this page.

Photo Credit: @Cycling_4_Good

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