Last April 2021, I received an email from Mike Suiter with a beautiful photo of his new custom Fairlight Secan 2.0 gravel bike with a California Burrito adorning the bars. I love to receive pictures and reviews from customers, so beyond the photo, I scrolled.
It turns out that Mike was reaching out to me on behalf of an organization he has given much of his time to called Wear Yellow Nebraska. Mike shared with me that he is a 2-time cancer survivor who contacted us for this non-profit that raises money to provide free cab rides to cancer patients throughout Nebraska.
Wear Yellow Nebraska hosts an annual event called “Ride, Run, and Walk,” an inclusive event for people to gather to fundraise for the cause through cycling, running, and walking. As the website says, “A Ride for a Ride.”
To date, Wear Yellow Nebraska has provided 13,500 cab rides to Nebraska cancer patients and raised more than $350,000. In addition to the popular cab ride program, WYN also offers services like financial aid to patients, gift cards for children in treatment to spend on entertainment, and gas money and meals to parents of these pediatric patients to alleviate some stress.
Before the pandemic began, I visited Nebraska to support my friend in Omaha Fashion Week. My friend Samuel is a talented sewer and designer who worked at Road Runner Bags several years ago. Having recently been to Nebraska, I felt this connection and desire to be involved with Wear Yellow Nebraska.
So many of us are connected to someone who has been diagnosed with cancer and has endured cancer treatment, and there was an organization whose sole purpose was to provide support and kindness to those who need it. I was more than happy to sign Road Runner Bags up to donate raffle items for their event.
Mike reached out to me after the Ride, Run, Walk event with some awesome updates. $11,000 was collected through raffle and merchandise sales, and it was the most raised by the event thus far. He wrote, “The 3 Road Runner Bags baskets were some of the items with the most raffle tickets, and Wear Yellow Nebraska is very grateful for your donation! Not a single volunteer with our organization gets paid, so every dollar made goes to cancer patients!”
This year we got an email from Edwin Lyons on behalf of Wear Yellow Nebraska regarding the next annual fundraiser, and of course, we want to donate and top what we were able to send last year.
I have had such a remarkable correspondence with Mike, and it paved the way for a long-lasting partnership with this organization. We look forward to providing Road Runner Bags' handmade gear again in 2022.
As a small handmade company, it is rewarding to connect directly with non-profit organizations like this throughout the country. However, it is humbling to know that we have people who recognize what we do and that the word continues to spread through exposure.
When Lyons tells me: “...your donated products for our WYN raffle was a huge hit! It is so awesome seeing your awesome bags riding around town!” it means the world to us.
Oh, and a minor update on Mike Suiter, he’s taking a little break and focusing on woodworking. If you’re in the market for a cutting board, these handcrafted boards look beautiful, and the profits go towards a great cause.
Photo Credit: Mike Suiter