Feliz Navidad- Pay It Forward Ride for Doernbechers

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On a freezing cold night, we gathered in the dark.

The twinkling lights shown bright where we parked.

In the mall parking lot in SE  P-town, treasures were loaded

into packs on the ground.

We shouldered the bags, set Garmins on lock,

 mounted our steeds and rolled down the block.

12 stout riders with bikes all a glow,

decked in Christmas lights,

 and music to-go. 

This journey was much more than a bike trip with friends,

 for a family in need would be at the end. 

A month of planning and spreading the word,

Hammering the details, so their voices could be heard.
Sponsors, riders, coworkers too,
heeded the call,
and donations came through.
3rd year in a row for the Pay It Forward ride,
begun by Jeff Tedder
and his cycling tribe.
Through OHSU, a connection was made,
to help sick children and families
have a happy holiday.
Two children with illness, five siblings makes seven,
one parent working
and one at home caring.
Doernbechers host the two girls young in age,
one with an illness, that will never go away.
A list of requests;
a pantry of food,
warm coats and hats,
clothes would be good.
Puzzles and art supplies,
appear on the list,
and toys for the little ones
ages 5 and 6.
The air was crisp for our gift-bearing team,
speeding along Burnside, we did not go unseen.
Honks of approval for our festive bright sight,
“Merry Christmas!” they shouted
under MAX platform lights.
Finding our way to the small ranch style home,
we were greeted and welcomed
into the room full of love.
Packs were unloaded, introductions were made,
sugar cookies shared while shy eyes stood and gazed.
Coach Jeff, the leader of our merry band,
asked mom if the kids
could open just one.
Bilingual home and translations were made,
ages 5 to 23 chose a package
from the gifts where they lay.
The two little boys were speaking in Spanish,
one would not share his new Spiderman mask.
The girls opened gifts of warm winter coats,
and jeans that sparkle
were pulled from the tote.
Oldest three girls and their mom gave us hugs.
Merry Christmas” they said.
Our time here was done.
Bags now were empty, but hearts very full,
our wheels pointed home, for our seven mile pull.
Christmas music was blaring,
our lights twinkled bright,
Pay It Forward a success,
and to all a good night.

Special thanks to Jeff Tedder and the Hammer Velo Team, Cindy Barshay at OHSU, team sponsors, friends and family for making this event happen with your donations and support. Over $1000 was raised and items donated to make a happy holiday for this family.

Drew Coleman of the Hammer Velo team also did a write up for BikePortland.org

http://bikeportland.org/2012/12/19/reader-story-pay-it-forward-ride-brightens-holiday-for-a-family-in-need-81354

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