As we have done every August since 2016, Black Young Professionals of Metro Detroit gathered the most exceptional of young professionals to give back to the Detroit community. This year was no departure from our norm, as we brought over fifty superfly volunteers to support the 2019 Handlebars for the Homeless bike tour and fundraiser for homelessness awareness. This is an annual event planned by and benefiting our partner organization, Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO).

Black Young Professionals’ Director Kevin stands next to Member and Volunteer Elton surveying progress of the event

Unfortunately this year — just days before this awesome event — NSO experienced a significant loss on their team. Christopher Parks, a man of many hats and a huge heart, and also a member of the NSO Board of Directors, passed away due to being involved in a fatal car accident. NSO President Linda Little spoke on Christopher’s contributions to the organization’s massive outreach efforts which he was a outstanding proponent of. Christopher was director of NSO’s homeless recovery program. Riders, volunteers, and staff shared a moment of silence in remembrance of Christopher before setting out on this year’s route.

Turn out to this year’s event was very similar to 2018, bringing hundreds of riders from all over Metro Detroit. This year’s event had many improvements, adjustments, and changes from 2018, including:

  • Improved tour routing
  • Shorter kick-off ceremony
  • New strategy for handling mechanical failures
  • Free ice cream for all riders and volunteers
  • Volunteer shirts: Gold
    Rider shirts: Purple
    Ride support shirts: Red
  • Ride length: Approximately 15 Miles

Black Young Professionals of Metro Detroit has been working on various programs and events with NSO since 2016. NSO has been a deep rooted steward of compassion and hope in the city, focusing on the city’s most vulnerable citizens. Their commitment to improving the community speaks to the heart of our community service mission, creating an awesome synergy of opportunity between our two organizations. Volunteers receive free t-shirts, snacks, catered lunch, and latitude and agency to make impact through this major event. The intention is to further homelessness awareness in Detroit so that resources will become more plentiful and the influx of newcomers and existing residents will know we still care!

We sincerely thank every single volunteer that came out on both Saturday and Sunday to make this event successful! They were honored at our subsequent Mix and Fowl Networking Mixer!

For additional information check out this report by WDIV TV Detroit.