People do various things to raise money. Some hold garage sales, set up lemonade stands or even hosts concerts or marathons. But few will bike ride across the country or even across cities with their twin to raise money for someone they don’t even know.
That’s exactly what Ashley and Chris Agoranos are going to do this Tuesday.
On May 11, the 21-year-old twins will bike ride 100 miles from Gainesville to Orlando. Why? To raise funds for an upcoming missions trip to Tanzania, Africa.
Every mile traveled corresponds to the dollar amount that people will donate to the cause. For example, if someone pledges to support them at mile 37, then this means he or she will give them $37. In one month Ashley has raised $1,000 in support and is hoping the bike ride will generate a total of about $5,000.
On June 14, she will travel to Tanzania with a group from First Assembly of God in Gainesville, FL. Ashley, a masters in education student, has already raised funds for the trip and plans to give the rest of the money to the 12-member group which needs about $10,000.
For two weeks they will be the hands and feet to the children of the Hananasif Orphanage Center (HOCET), a faith-based non-profit organization. Most of these children, Ashely said, don’t have a home or have lost their parents due to the HIV/AIDS infection.
When HOCET started back in 2002, it was only serving five children. Now there are about 102 children. Twenty-two of them have been taken in by founder Hezekia Mwalugaja’s family and staff. The others 80 or so, are teenagers receiving an education through HOCET’s boarding school.
According to its website, the vision of HOCET is to “offer holistic, community-oriented care to orphans and vulnerable children through education, health care, spiritual and leadership development, infrastructural and economic development, vocational training, and the promotion and cultivation of the arts in both urban and rural regions of Tanzania.”
The team will work with HOCET’s City Center located in Dar-Es-Salaam and Shamba Center on the outskirts of the city. While they are there, they will mainly participate in educational, agricultural and construction projects.
This is the first time that Ashley will travel outside of the United States. For her going to Tanzania goes beyond receiving recognition and doing work with Hananasif.
“The point of us going is that we would get a heart and come back to the States and get people excited about helping orphanages and orphans,” she said.
Although Ashley has had friends travel outside of America for missions work, her heart has always been for the underprivileged in America. But she believes that this trip will break some of the numbness that she’s felt toward other countries’ needs.
“I feel like in so many ways they’re going to minister to me,” Ashley said. “I’m pretty much expecting my life to be changed and I don’t really know what that’s going to be like.
“My life is going to have to be different and hopefully I can be an advocate with an even bigger heart.”
Her heart has inspired her twin brother to join her on this ride. Chris, an economics senior at Florida State University, isn’t going to Tanzania. He’s just helping Ashley raise money. He has been riding long distance for a while and completed another charity ride for Multiple Sclerosis with their father this past weekend.
For Ashley, this fundraiser is about taking something that you’re passionate about and using it to help people. She hopes this bike ride will spark others to do the same.
STEPS TO DONATE ONLINE
Do donate to their cause, visit First Assembly at http://first-assembly.org.
- Choose ONLINE GIVING tab
- Click DONATE NOW button
- REGISTER or choose GUESTS
- In OTHER space, type “Ashley Agoranos ” or “Tanzania”
- Click CONTINUE
- Fill in payment information
- Make CHECKS payable to First Assembly. Write “Ashley Agoranos” in MEMO line. Mail the check to 2925 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32065.