Chris and Iya: Biking the C&O Canal Towpath to Support ILO
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Hello everyone, and welcome to our post! As you may all know, we usually post our weekly blog on Thursday, but today we have a very special event to share with you all – ILO board member Chris Snowber and his daugter, self-advocate Iya, are spending July 4th weekend biking to raise money for the important work that is being done at ILO.
Please read on to learn more about their fund-raising adventure, in Chris’ own words.
This 4th of July weekend, Iya and I will be riding our tandem on the 180-mile long historic C&O canal towpath, from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown, D.C. Our goal is do to the entire towpath in four days.
We have devised this trip for Iya and I in order to support Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO), a 501c3 non-profit organization that we have been a part of developing. Together with more than 20 families in Washington, D.c. And Montgomery County, M.D., it has been our goal over the last two years to provide supports to young adults with developmental disabilities, including Iya, allowing them to live out in the community with the most full and independent lives possible. Both Cynthia and I have been very active in this organization, as I serve on the Board of Directors and Cynthia is very involved in the D.C. Family Group.
ILO has been designed to help our self-advocates transition into a home of their own, establish and active role in the community, and create long term connections. Our first group of ILO self-advocates will be moving into apartments in a new complex in Gaithersburg, MD this fall, supported by an on-site ILO community builder and a project manager from the organization. BUT – this is just the beginning for ILO. If you would like to learn more, please take a moment to browse the ILO website, www.ilonow.org to learn about our history, or mission and goals, and the services that we provide.
As a non-profit organization, ILO operates partly through the support of participating families, that pay for all of the direct services provided to their self-advocates. The organization has other operational expenses that need to be funded as well in order to grow and play a role in the larger community, where we could make a real impact on many lives. Up until now, we have operated as a completely volunteer organization. In order to get on our feet, hire some staff and expand our mission, each ILO family is being asked to reach out to those they know to to help fund this critical year for the organization. Our collective goal is to raise $75,000 by September 1.
To that end, and in support of our ride, we are asking that you consider making a tax-deductible contribution to ILO. Please feel free to get in touch with us with any questions, and take a moment to read more on ilonow.org, where a link is provided to donate. If you decide to donate in support of our ride, make sure that you indicate you are doing it in support of our family. There is a place on the donate form where you are asked how you learned about ILO, and you should put my name there. There is no given amount that we are looking for, as any donation would be appreciated.
And please stay tuned to ILO’s blog – we will be posting an update and summary of our great adventure in a couple of weeks.
Thanks and have an enjoyable July 4th weekend!
Chris & Iya
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