Charity Logo

Charity Logo

Charity of the Month


In December I am riding for Heifer International. Founded in 1944, Heifer International works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Its approach is more than a handout. Heifer provides animals (e.g., heifers, goats, water buffalos, chickens, rabbits, fish, and bees) and training to impoverished people in over 30 countries. The animals can give milk, meat, or eggs; provide draft power; or form the basis of a small business. Communities make their own decisions about what crops, animals, and market strategies make sense for their everyday conditions and experiences.

Heifer International is based on 12 Cornerstones, such as Sustainability; Genuine Need and Justice; and Gender and Family Focus. Perhaps the best known Cornerstone is Passing on the Gift, in which Heifer recipient families pass on the offspring of their animals to others in need. In this way, whole communities can raise their standard of living.

A donation to Heifer International also can make a wonderful alternative holiday gift. Instead of yet another sweater for Grandma that she really doesn’t need, why not donate a Heifer animal or a share of an animal in her honor? Does your child really need so many new toys? Instead of five new toys, give him/her three new toys and a Heifer flock of chicks. Heifer has honor cards to let your loved ones know of your gift on their behalf.

I have set up a Team Heifer page to support Heifer International through A Year of Centuries. My goal is to raise $500. Please make your donation through If you would like more information about Heifer’s work, please visit Whether you give to honor a loved one or make a regular donation, thank you for taking steps to transform the world for the better.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Early Christmas Present!

An early Christmas present just arrived.  It’s a quilt made from the T-shirts from my centuries this year!  I am so thrilled to have this special memento of A Year of Centuries.  My quilt is a wall hanging made from nine T-shirts.  Seven of my centuries – March, April, May, June, July, September, and October – were part of organized rides that had T-shirts.  Although my other five centuries – January, February, August, November, and December – didn’t have T-shirts associated with them, I came up with just the right T-shirts to fill in my two remaining quilt squares.  One was the T-shirt that I bought in October at the Buddy Walk, which benefitted the Middle Georgia Down Syndrome Society.  Finally, I included my Life Is Good T-shirt that has a guy on a bicycle and the phrase “Ride On,” which has been a theme and inspiration for me throughout A Year of Centuries.  This made the perfect center square! (kind of like Paul Lynde)

A number of years ago I had a T-shirt quilt made for Robert.  We both had accumulated beaucoup shirts from various 5Ks, triathlons, and charity bicycle rides.  I had a T-shirt quilt made for him as a Christmas present.  A few months beforehand, I raided his T-shirt drawers and picked out an assortment for the quilt.  What’s so funny is that he didn’t even notice that they were gone!  (This goes to show just how many T-shirts we have).  He did mention later that it seemed like his drawers closed a little easier, but he didn’t give it much thought at the time.  I hired a friend of mine who is an avid quilter to make Robert’s T-shirt quilt.  She did an excellent job, but I think it was a bigger project than she anticipated.  I wasn’t about to impose on her for my quilt for A Year of Centuries, and so I looked online.  I hit the jackpot!

I researched several companies and decided on Keepsake Theme Quilts (KTQ) in Columbus, Ohio (  They did an outstanding job for a very reasonable price.  Their ordering process is easy, and they worked with me every step of the way.  I even made several changes, which they graciously and professionally incorporated.  Also, there’s something else special about KTQ that made me want to choose them.  KTQ is a mission-driven social purpose business of Deaf Initiatives, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  KTQ was created to hire, train, and promote deaf employees in an environment free from communication barriers that limit deaf job seekers.  Almost their entire staff is deaf, and every employee is fluent in sign language.  KTQ has a deaf friendly work environment with features like large, open rooms to promote communicating through sign language.  I can’t think of a more appropriate group of people to help me commemorate A Year of Centuries.

I arranged my shirts in chronological order, starting in the top left corner and going clockwise.

March was the first century this year with a T-shirt.  It was the St. Patrick’s Century in Dublin, Georgia.  My charity of the month in A Year of Centuries was Bicycles for Humanity.

April’s century was a Journey for Autism in Macon, Georgia.  My charity of the month in A Year of Centuries was Southeastern Greyhound Adoption.

May’s century was Up the Creek Without a Pedal in Rome, Georgia.  My charity of the month in A Year of Centuries was the BRAG Dream Team.

June’s century was Wheels to the World in Athens, Georgia, a benefit for Women to the World.  My charity of the month in A Year of Centuries was the ML&J Fund for Children and Youth.

July’s century was Pedal for Pets in Senoia, Georgia, a benefit for spay/neuter programs.  My charity of the month in A Year of Centuries was Bat Conservation International.

September was the Nut Roll Century in Albany, Georgia, a benefit for Chehaw Park.  My charity of the month in A Year of Centuries was the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy.

October’s century was the Ferst Annual Lewis Grizzard & Catfish Memorial Bike Ride in Moreland, Georgia.  (Notice the blue silhouette of Lewis Grizzard in the background of the shirt.)  It benefitted the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy in Coweta County.  In addition to this extra connection to my September charity, I also rode for the Jasper County Community Food Bank, my October charity in A Year of Centuries.

Although the Buddy Walk doesn’t involve cycling, this T-shirt that I purchased at this event is a wonderful way to remember the Middle Georgia Down Syndrome Society, my November charity in A Year of Centuries.

KTQ includes up to three lines of embroidery for free.  I included my motto for A Year of Centuries: Expect Adventure.  Also, the embroidery is usually placed on the bottom right edge of the quilt, but I asked KTQ to place it in the center square.  This balanced out the blank space in this square and gave the embroidery a more prominent position.

At no charge, KTQ will embroider a hand making the American Sign Language symbol for “I love you.”  At first I wasn’t going to include this symbol, but then I thought about how love is really the basis for A Year of Centuries.  The symbol is on the bottom edge of the quilt and will always remind me of the wonderful way that KTQ supports deaf people.

I got a kick out of an extra item that KTQ included in my package:

I was all smiles when I saw my quilt, though – no tears for me!  However, I’ll put these tissues to good use over the next few months; when you ride your bicycle in cold weather, a runny nose is inevitable.

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