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Archive for January, 2010

January 24th, 2010 - And life goes on.

I packed my bags last night for the flight

Closed my eyes to not see that terrible sight

There were times I got scared of the height

There were times that I was mean and at times polite

I guess you can be either a bum or a knight

What matters is not the might or the blight

I don’t think what I did will make it any more right

But I’ve had enough of this perpetual fight…           ~O. Christopher Sorbi

I am on the road again and to my own disbelief, not two-up but one down. My life has been public for a quite some time and I’m not going to change that now. The truth is that I’m back on the saddle and without Cynthia. I can give a million reasons why it didn’t work out and hold discussions and debates here but my job is something else. For me not to fall apart, it’s crucial to keep it together and offer my face to the gods of bugs and rocks on the back of my bike. The end result is what it is, no matter how I put it.

I would like to share my sympathy with the people of Haiti for what they have been going through. I grew up in a country that sits on an earthquake belt and shakes and rocks from time to time. I witnessed one of the deadliest shake when I was just 9 years old. As a kid growing up, I knew how terrifying it was to hide under a desk or a doorway, holding to an illusion of safety from tons of adobe bricks coming down on our heads.

I have been away from the news scene for a while, and when I found out about the disaster in Haiti, it was already two days later.  I became aware of the situation when the visits to the website started skyrocketing. At first, I thought of spam attacks but when I looked closely I realized that people were coming to the website because of using search terms related to the Haiti earthquake.

What led so many people to this website was a blog I wrote a month earlier:

The question remains: Why should we care?

…Remember the hurricane Katrina victims? They had faces. They had media coverage. They had the whole world watching. We still failed to give them their most basic needs. Now imagine a family in Ethiopia or Haiti with no media coverage, no Wal-Mart to bring water, and nowhere to turn. Their story could be YOUR story. All it takes is one heavy cloud, one strong wind, one earthquake.”

Prediction? Absolutely not. Coincidence? Not at all. Story repeating itself? Perhaps.

This corporation is not in a capacity yet to be of any help at this point so I won’t beg you for money here. All I can do is to ask you to donate what you can, it doesn’t matter how much it is.

Donate it to the World Food Program (WFP) of the United Nations. They have the staff in the field, they have the choppers flying; they have the dogs searching. What you give right now is a matter of life and death. Save a $5 bill out of your weekend gas money or coffee run and save a life with it. If you use the donation button on this website, everything will get redirected to WFP daily for the next month.

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January 4th, 2010 - Making it far

I hope 2010 is off to a great start for everyone. It has been almost 5 months since I left my home in Montana and it has been a blast riding through some of the most beautiful parts of the United States and Canada. I have met so many amazing people and experienced the ups and downs of the traveling life. I started this ride with a vision and hope of good deeds and I have tried to incorporate my passion for the cause with activities which would stir up the attention for the cause.

I am pleased to announce another exiting change. After a long and exhausting research and tweaking my financial resources, I decided to take the leap and make the 501 (c)(3) a reality.

On December 3, 2009, the Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Montana Secretary of State office on behalf of the Transcontinental Humanitarian Corp. to form a non-profit corporation. The corporation was formed approved on December 7. Transcontinental Humanitarian Corp. is now a legal entity formed and operated exclusively for charitable purposes under the section 501 (C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

On December 27, I received the Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN) for the corporation and with help from the directors, I am almost done with the federal paperwork for the tax exemption status.

To give you some idea on how extensive and exhausting this process is, I will name a few of the documents which I had to write and get approved by the board: Articles of Incorporation 6 pages, Bylaws 13 pages, Conflict of Interest 6 pages, 1023 Form 28 pages, additional information for the IRS 18 pages and so on…

The costs for forming the organization are significant and all the fees were funded from my own pocket. I invested my own resources into the corporation and while this is taking from me personally, the 501 (C)(3) status will open up many more fundraising channels and allow for us to write grants to virtually any foundation or corporation in the word.

I am in process of appointing and electing officers for the organization. I would like to invite and encourage the public to participate in this great and meaningful undertaking by filling the officer positions.

To be considered, you can apply for an officer position by sending your resume to Chris at motorcyclememoir dot com (Sorry spam robots) or by mail to:

ATTN: Board Selection

Transcontinental Humanitarian Corp.

P O Box 7603

Helena, MT 59604

The board members and officers are NOT employees of the Transcontinental Humanitarian Corp. but are the governing body and agents of the organization. There are no compensations of any sort and on solely volunteer basis. I as the founder and director still don’t receive any salary of any sort nor will any of the corporation directors. Lastly, not one penny of the public and private contributions will ever be used for recreation or personal gain.

I realize that lately I haven’t been posting any ride reports because in truth, there are no rides to report on. Despite the fact that  it may seem that I’ve lost my focus about continuing on the expedition or that I am being lazy, there is a lot taking place behind the scenes. I’m eating out of my own pocket as I always have been and everyday that I’m immobile and not making mile-measurable progress, I’m losing what little I have left but the reason for all these delays are due to extensive logistical changes and the aforementioned governmental paperwork.

Adding another person to the expedition is not as simple as doubling grandma’s favorite cinnamon roll recipe. The fact is that there are a myriad of details big and small which are being dealt with: from motorcycle training for Cynthia, packing all her stuff, getting her medical exams and shots and finding the right gear to further modifying the GS so it would be able to haul what’s almost impossible to fit in an SUV.  We are working on some fundraising events in Bakersfield, sending out sponsorship letters and setting up future lectures and slideshows down the road while counting days for departure time. The ride is not over and it has merely begun. It is expanding beyond the scope of what I envisioned for a long time and it’s getting done the right way.

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