H2H (Hanoi to HCM City), an annual charity bicycle ride that supports Vietnamese children’s charities, turned virtual this year in an innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
|A virtual charity bicycle ride to support Vietnamese children’s charities continues until the end of May. — Photo courtesy of Saigon Children’s Charity|
The virtual ride has been a success so far and has raised over US$27,000. Fundraising continues until the end of May.
To transform a physical ride into a virtual one, the 2020 ride was rebranded “H2H Around the World” and the team invited anyone in any location to join them by exercising or donating from their own home.
They plotted a global route, starting and finishing in Hanoi, and set a target of 50,000 kilometres in one month. Every minute of exercise and every dollar donated equals one kilometre on the journey.
Each day, H2H posted a map showing the progress made, provided exercise ideas, and shared regular video messages to encourage supporters.
Riders were invited to send photos or videos of them exercising at home, and these included workouts, dancing, yoga, and even gardening.
The concept was a big hit. From 13 original riders, the team grew to over 500 participants in 25 countries, and by the end of April they had surpassed their goal, completing 52,000 virtual kilometres and raising over $27,000 for their charity partners.
At a time when many people were experiencing a lockdown, the opportunity to exercise daily and to join in a meaningful project of solidarity and hope brought everyone together.
H2H Ride for Vietnam (www.h2h.team) was founded in 2009 by a group of expats who wanted to give back to the local community while exploring the country by bicycle.
The ride usually covers 2,000km from Hanoi to HCM City each April. Over its 11 years, H2H volunteers have raised over $400,000 to help disadvantaged children in Vietnam.
H2H riders cover their own ride expenses and 100 per cent of donations go to four local charities: Saigon Children’s Charity, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, ILA Community Network, and Live & Give.
Fundraising is still open until the end of May at: www.justgiving.com/team/h2h-2020. VNS
The annual National Cycling Tournament, HCM City Television Cup, will be held on May 19 to June 7.