WASHINGTON (April 8, 2003) -- The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) today finalized the route it will follow on its summer 2003 bike tour across America. The purpose of the trip is to focus attention on poverty in the United States and the need to promote permanent solutions toward breaking the cycle of poverty. Named Brake the Cycle of Poverty, the journey will begin on June 1, when a team of 20 cyclists will depart from San Francisco and travel through the following 12 states: California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland. It will end on August 1 in Washington, DC.
In addition another team of cyclists will leave Manchester, Connecticut, on July 27, travel through New York, New Jersey and Delaware, and join up with the cross-country team in Baltimore for the conclusion of the Bike Tour.
"Today, 33 million people throughout the United States live below the official government poverty line. That amounts to one out of every six children and one out of every ten families in America, which does not even include the millions more low-income people who are struggling daily to survive," said Mary Wright, CCHD Education Coordinator and Brake the Cycle of Poverty Bike Tour organizer. She added, "Rather than overwhelm us, these statistics about the number of poor people, as well as their personal stories, should call us to prayer, reflection and action. As we cycle across the country, we will spend time in the evenings with grass roots groups and Catholic parishioners interested in learning about challenges related to the poor and low-income population. We will talk about effective ways to permanently eliminate the effects of poverty and urge people to take action."
The group of cyclists, ranging in age from 19-72, will travel through 37 Catholic Dioceses in an effort to call attention to the increase in US poverty in America
"Every Catholic, and all our faith communities, have been called upon by the Bishops of the United States to join in solidarity with low-income people, by applying moral values and virtues, in the search for just policies and social investments that will help all Americans escape the trap of poverty and overcome the barriers of injustice," said CCHD Executive Director Rev. Robert Vitillo. "Our faith calls us to this effort, our nation needs it and our covenant with God demands it," he added.
For more information about the Brake the Cycle of Poverty in America Bike Tour, and more detail on the route the cyclists will follow, visit www.brakethecycle.org or contact Mary Yerrick at 301-320-6888.
About the Catholic Campaign for Human Development:
Established by the Catholic Bishops of the United States, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is one of the largest private funders of self-help programs initiated and led by low-income people in the United States. Committed to the permanent elimination of poverty and injustice in America, CCHD has offered $260 million in support to more than 4,000 programs nationwide that know no racial or religious boundaries - projects that help create jobs, improve neighborhoods and allow people to find a way out of poverty, not just for a day but for a lifetime. For more information about Poverty in America, please visit www.povertyusa.org or call CCHD at (800) 946-4243.
Mary D. Yerrick, 301-320-6888
Mary Wright, 202-541-3374