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Making Every Mile Matter: Velofree's Mission Against Human Trafficking

Updated: Feb 19

In the vast world of cycling, where every pedal push echoes the thrill of freedom, there's a deeper mission at play—one that goes beyond just enjoying the open road. It's about harnessing that freedom for a cause greater than ourselves. That's where Velofree steps in, a beacon of hope in the relentless fight against human trafficking. As Velofree's proud founder, let me take you through our journey, a path paved with purpose, heart, and an unwavering commitment to making a difference.

The Moment of Realization

Back in 2011, the grim reality of human trafficking struck a chord with me. Living in Florida, a hotspot for this horrific crime, and as a dad to three, the issue felt terrifyingly close to home. It wasn't just an "over there" problem—it was right on my doorstep. That's when I knew I had to stand up, not just for my kids, but for every silent voice out there. This led to the launch of the Hope Ride for Freedom in 2017, a cycling event aimed at shining a light on human trafficking. From our initial ride, which raised $50k with 22 cyclists, to later events pushing past the $200k mark, the support was nothing short of inspiring.

Velofree: From Vision to Reality

Yet, the dream was bigger. I aimed to hit the $1 million mark to combat human trafficking but needed a game-changer to get there. That breakthrough came mid-pedal in 2021, the idea of Velofree—a global cyclist community fighting against human trafficking. This vision was cemented after watching "Sound of Freedom" in July 2023, which felt like a sign to bring this dream to life.

What Velofree Stands For

Velofree is our rallying cry, blending 'Velo' (bike in French) and 'free,' symbolizing our mission to cycle towards freedom for the oppressed. Guided by the wisdom to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves," Velofree is a voice for the voiceless, driving a global cyclist movement to support organizations on the front lines of rescuing, restoring, and reintegrating human trafficking victims.

The Road Ahead

Starting Velofree was no small feat, filled with learning curves and patience. From setting up as a nonprofit to rallying a board of passionate allies, we've faced challenges head-on, buoyed by the cycling community's incredible support.

Fostering a Community of Change

The heart of Velofree beats through community engagement. We're building connections with cycling clubs and shops, spreading the word, and inviting everyone with a bike to join our cause. With plans for the Hope Ride ‘25 and launching our ambassador program, our impact will only deepen, uniting us further in our shared mission.

Your Part in This Journey

I am Inspired by the words of Edward Everett Hale, "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something," which encapsulates the spirit of Velofree. Every ride, mile, and contribution is a step closer to ending human trafficking. Whether you're a cyclist or an ally, your action counts.

Let's Ride Together

Velofree's journey is a testament to the power of passion fused with purpose. As we grow and rally cyclists worldwide, our vision is clear: to turn every ride into a freedom ride. Join us in this fight, pedal by pedal, towards a future where freedom isn't just a dream but a reality for everyone.

Come along for the ride, and together, let's make freedom's dream a reality.

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