Two women plan Asheville stop on cross-country bike tour and fundraiser

Winter Heath and Michelle Richard have been bicycling since May 31, traveling across the country to raise awareness and funds for Togolese women's education and empowerment. Photo courtesy of Heath and Richard

Two women bicycling across the country — from Maine to Seattle — will be making a pitstop in Asheville this weekend, giving a short presentation at both Sunday morning Jubilee! services.

“In addition to experiencing all of the beauty my country has to offer, I will be fundraising $2,500 for Pathways Togo, a nonprofit working for women’s education and empowerment in Togo, West Africa,” writes Winter Heath on her GoFundMe page.

Recently back stateside from a 2-year stint in the Peace Corps, Heath was exposed to the harsh realities of Togo, West Africa, which, she writes, is “one of the poorest nations in the world. Togo offers few educational opportunities for women and children. Less than 30 percent of Togolese girls are enrolled in high school.”

And, she says, “one of the initiatives working hard to change this is Pathways Togo. … During my two years in Togo I watched Pathways create positive change in the lives of Togolese women and girls across the nation. Now, even though I’m thousands of miles away, I want to continue to support this incredible program.”

Photo courtesy of Heath and Richard's blog
Photo courtesy of Heath and Richard’s blog

So she and friend Michelle Richard, who had just arrived home from a tour with Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, decided to raise awareness and funding across the U.S.

Look for Heath, Richard and their cross-country bicycles in Asheville this weekend, or go to the 9:45 a.m. or 11:15 a.m. services on Sunday, July 19 at Jubilee! Community to hear their brief presentations.

To learn more about the women’s journey, read this article from Pathways or follow their blog as they bike across the nation for the next few months.

To donate to Pedaling for Pathways Togo, visit Heath and Richard’s GoFundMe page here.

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About Hayley Benton
Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] gmail.com. Follow me @HayleyTweeet

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One thought on “Two women plan Asheville stop on cross-country bike tour and fundraiser

  1. Alejandro

    This was a very interesting post! How wofrdenul that the girls are learning a trade to help support their families! I love hearing stories of women being empowered. It is a beautiful place. I love the beach. I have a treadle machine and used it for years before I bought an electric. It has beautiful attachments that do all sorts of interesting things like pleats, gathers, etc. I, too, want to know how you came to be invited there and the story about your sewing machine. xx

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