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Biking From Florida To Crossville, Raise Funds & Awareness

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Biking From Florida To Crossville, Raise Funds & Awareness

A pair of cyclists rode from Lake Park, Florida to Crossville to collect donations for Jonah’s Joy, a nonprofit designed to help sexually exploited adolescent girls.

Executive Director Denise Weaver said Board Member Jim Higgins had the idea to visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Florida, and collect donations on the ride back. She said in early April, Higgins and his 15-year-old son Callahan embarked on the journey of some 900 miles with only what they carried on their backs. She said through flat tires and sore bodies, the pair spread awareness and raised over $5,000.

“Our hope was, in 2025, to have many bikers join them,” Weaver said. “And to go along this route to help people understand what Jonah’s Joy is all about, advertise who we are, and get people excited about supporting the organization.”

Weaver said the organization plans to build a residential center to house victims of sexual exploitation and provide them with months of intensive therapy. She said she hopes the connections the two have made might result in food, shelter, and support when a larger group makes the trek next April.

“Being good stewards of the money that has been raised, they have been staying at state parks, camping on the road, as well as staying at some low-budget hotels just to save that money on their journey to get through,” Weaver said. “Much of what has been given to them has been donations through individuals they have met on the road.”

She said the land for the new facility has already been purchased and the timeline for its completion depends of donations from businesses, the Cumberland County community, and the individuals that the Higgins pair meets on their two-week ride.

“This was really to just show the community that we are transforming trauma to triumph by ending up in Crossville where out property will be for this children’s home,” Weaver said.

She said the funds will go 100 percent to abused and neglected adolescent girls while they undergo individual, family, and group therapy in the new facility.


The post Biking From Florida To Crossville, Raise Funds & Awareness appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.