SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — Jim Feeney is on a mission.
It’s a mission close to his heart.
Next month, the 60-year-old Seekonk resident will literally bike around the country.
“Five months, 32 states, 10,000 miles,” he said. “I’m going around the perimeter of the United States.”
Feeney is biking to raise money for SBP, a national disaster recovery and resilience organization.
The nonprofit was founded six months after Hurricane Katrina and primarily focuses on helping rebuild the homes of those impacted by natural disaster.
When asked how he came across SBP, Feeney said he read an article about them in 2009.
“Like a lot of people, I was curious about what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina,” Feeney said. “I went down there to check out the organization and I found a group of passionate people rebuilding homes.”
Feeney has been a volunteer with SBP ever since. He said working with the nonprofit is what inspired him to plan the charity bike ride.
“I’ve been blessed and lucky in life,” he continued. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities, so to me, this is an opportunity to give back for all of the blessings I’ve had in life. There are a lot of people struggling out there.”
This isn’t Feeney’s first time biking around the United States.
“I did this ride in 1996 when I was 33 years old,” Feeney said. “I started in Atlanta, Georgia, and went clockwise around the United States.”
“The last time I did this, I saw rattlesnakes sunning themselves in the middle of the road, I saw bears in Glacier National Park,” he continued. “The country is just gorgeous. There are so many beautiful places in this country I’m looking forward to seeing again.”
Back then, Feeney said he raised $20,000 for two local charities. He’s hoping to raise more than $30,000 this time around.
“The reason for that is that it takes $30,000 to rebuild a home, so we would like to rebuild 10 homes,” Feeney explained.
Feeney described the ride as a “great bookend” for his life.
“This is the time to do it, and why not?” Feeney said. “It’s a time to celebrate 60 years and do it for a good reason.”
He hopes his journey will inspire others to make a difference.
“I would challenge people to find their own perimeter, find their own challenge,” Feeney said. “Do something that’s meaningful for you.”
Feeney said his ride will begin April 3. He expects to ride six days a week, averaging approximately 75 miles a day.
Anyone interested in supporting Feeney’s ride can do so by donating to SBP.
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