Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 9 of 30 Days of Biking: Room to Read meeting by bicycle

Erin Ganju, Irene, and Vivek Venugopal

Sometimes I am a little hesitant to ride to business meetings by bike.  But the weather was grand and we knew we had time to cool off after our ride and before our meeting, so I pulled out the mountain bike.

Today my daughter Irene joined me on my ride to meet the folks from Room to Read.  We were invited to meet with Erin Ganju (co-founder & CEO) and the ever delightful Vivek Venugopal.  Last year as an eighth grader, Irene raised enough money to build a library in Nepal and to sponsor two years of girls' education.  She has always loved books and libraries so this was a natural fit for her when she realized that there are children in the world without access to either.  Irene ran book drives and then held a huge booksale--we are so grateful for all the help and contributions of the many people it took to make her project happen.  We both enjoyed meeting Erin and seeing Vivek again.

I love Room to Read for two reasons:  they believe that "world change starts with educated children" and they are one of the few non-profits that really understands that "non profit" is not a business model, but rather a tax status.  They have the Charity Navigator coveted 4-star rating to prove it.  They believe in getting things done: like building libraries and training staff to run them so they are sustainable, and like aiming to educate 10 million children by 2015.  I also like their collaborative approach of working with local communities to make sure what they do is both needed and wanted.  If you would like to know more about Room to Read, click here.

On the way home, Irene kept suggesting I ride faster--she is a very strong cyclist and thinks that I ride too slowly.  Ah youth.  And those dancer legs of hers!  Yet, she doesn't like to ride much further than, say,  our local library.

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