OK200: “We Ride So They Can Be Free”
Greetings to the 954 blog subscribers to the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking. We have been anxious to tell you about one of the many Network allies. What this group of Iowan’s has accomplished and contributed to the fight against human trafficking is indeed amazing. Here is their story:
In 2011, a ridiculous 200 mile one day bike ride was transformed from an amazing feat of self achievement into a platform to fight human trafficking. After doing the first OK200 for personal satisfaction the core riders agreed that a second OK200 would be done the following year, but with a purpose beyond personal goals and pride. They realized that when they told other cyclists that they were riding 200 miles in one day they would typically say, “You’re crazy”, and “Why are you doing this?” The core riders discovered that on a second OK200 they would have an opportunity to grab the attention of others by talking about the ride and they would be able to use that as an opportunity to raise awareness and fight injustice in the world.
OK200:StopTheTraffic has raised over $220,000 in the last 5 years with $110,000 of that being raised in 2016. That money has been used to support safe houses for sex traffic survivors in Des Moines and Nepal. Not only that but they’ve fully funded a film about trafficking awareness called “Don’t Get in the Van” and helped fund extraction efforts as well. Hundreds of lives have been positively impacted by OK200. It is not a stretch to say that lives are being saved because of this crazy 200 mile one day bike ride.
Rocky Vest, a founder of OK200 says, “None of us knew that we would be where we are today. We just wanted to use our bikes to help others.”
What started as a small, faithful response to an egregious problem has grown and changed our lives and saved lives across the world.
Each year we ride on the last Friday in June.
Their motto: We Ride So They Can Be Free