Everyday Heroes: UK couple are 'Kicking the States' to raise money for charity
PORTLAND, Ore. —
A British married couple is riding kick-scooters from Vancouver, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico, 1,500 miles to raise money for a school in east Africa.
The enterprise is called Kicking the States.
We caught up with them as they traveled through Portland this week.
Gil Drori and Bex Band have been married for just three years, but what eventful years they've been.
“We set up our own companies, and we work as we travel,” Band said. “And we really love adventure, challenging ourselves and seeing how far we can push our bodies. And using that as travel and a way to see places.”
The couple are self-professed "digital nomads" who crossed the Arctic circle and hiked the length of Israel.
Their latest adventure started with a trip to Africa.
“We came across this school in a very poor village; it’s very rural, and what we saw there was this incredible school that hasn’t been built completely yet,” Band said. “The children that go, you know, it really means the world to them, and it really does change their lives. And so we wanted to try and give back and do something for these poor children who have nothing.”
Neither of them were into cycling, but a small trip around Britain last year on kick-scooters inspired them to use them for this trip.
“Like all great ideas, it’s always Bex’s idea,” Drori said. “She came up with it, but we both came up with the idea that we wanted to do something big for our charity.”
The kick-scooters are about as basic a mode of transportation as you can get.
The couple carries all their gear on the front of the scooter and on their backs.
“They’re great for going downhill. They’re great for going flat. And they’re terrible for going uphill, Band said. "If we have any uphill, even a slight incline, we have to get off and we have to lug them uphill, which is hard work.”
They have both been impressed by the scenery through Washington state.
“I think the nature is very beautiful. Plains and forests and the sea line is just unbelievable," Drori said.
But the most lasting impression comes from the people they've met in the first two weeks of their three-month journey.
“Everybody’s been so generous and welcoming,” Drori said. “We had to knock on some doors and ask really generous people on the way whether we can camp in their yard. And they all agreed and even sometimes they brought us dinner and coffee in the morning. So yes, the people are lovely.”
By the end of August, they hope to have raised at least $10,000 for the school.
“It’s not just about us,” Band said. "I mean obviously we’re having this amazing experience and we’re taking so many memories from it, but everyday our fundraising target is going up and up and that feels amazing. That’s the best part about all of it really.”
Bex and Gil are documenting their trip online on Facebook and on Bex's blog.