Rachel Kehlee Photography

If there's one thing we love (besides donuts), it's meeting other people who share our passion for clean water. When we came across Ride for Water and their incredible journey this summer, we jumped at the chance to connect! This amazing group of college students rode their bikes all the way from the Pacific Northwest to New York City with one goal in mind: raising awareness and funds toward fighting the global water crisis. 

As the team prepared for their Midwest leg of the ride, we invited them to stop by our studio and hang out for an afternoon. Check out our Q&A below, along with some photos from the journey. Then, learn how you can help the team reach this year's fundraising goal. (They're SO close!)

Team MudLOVE + Team Ride for Water = Team We LOVE Clean Water!

MudLOVE: Who rode this summer, and where are you all from?

Ride for Water: The men's team consisted of Paul Joung, Andy Bissell, Fadi Nassar, Jackson Lucht, and Aaron Thomas. Drivers for the guys were Emilio Cortez and Giovanny Panginda.

The riders for the women's team were Jacqueline Summers, Katie Maginnis, Sophia Buie, Kimberly Golden, Ashlee Ginn. Driving the ladies were Emily Eastburn and Rachel Lewis.

We all come from either California, Oregon, or Colorado!

Jumping for joy in the Big Apple. 

M: What did you like about your visit to Indiana? (Besides MudLOVE of course.)

RFW: The life-sized mannequins in Warsaw that felt so real at times! 

M: Ah yes. We find those to be unique, yet startling... 

Indiana: We're more than just corn!

M: There are so many noble causes to support. What led you to decide to ride for clean water? 

RFW: Everything starts with clean water. If clean water is sustainable and accessible, it creates time for education, business, agriculture, and more. Water is a basic necessity that we believe should be available for all; even at the expense of our own comforts.

Women and children specifically are the demographic of people who spend countless hours fetching water, and most of the time it's not clean! These women and children are often put in dangerous situations; risking their lives for the sake of water.

We're partnering with charity: water, who uses 100% of donations for clean water projects. They believe in working with local partners, and focusing on absolute solutions via wells and other sustainable systems. Life starts with water.

M: Awesome! charity: water also works with our own nonprofit partner, Water for Good


M: What’s the most interesting or inspiring story from your journey so far?

RFW: On Day 2 of the trip, the men's team support vehicle's transmission had blown out. Some of us thought that the ride was done for. We thought to ourselves, "How can we hurdle over this huge deficit?" We thought about spending the funds we had raised to use on food and other necessities to cover the cost. This would've meant some really frugal living for the duration of the ride.

We were stuck in Lake Chelan, Washington, about 1500 miles away from home and support. Jackson and Paul drove the car (which only had 2 gears available) down a highway to the nearest Chevy dealership to see what the damage was.

The remaining men's team, along with the women's team via phone, put their heads together. We blasted on social media for help with funding the new transmission. Getting to the dealership, the guys had no idea how this was going to be paid for. In 3 hours, we found out the entire cost for the transmission was covered!

The moral of the story is, when you are doing something for a cause that is greater then yourself, it is amazing to see the heart of people who believe in the cause. They gave so generously and provided for us in need, as we were trying to provide for others that are in need of clean water. Being believed in is a feeling that is unexplainable, and it surely lit a fire under our butts!

We left our new friends with some nifty gifties. 

M: How can someone get involved and show their support for the Ride for Water team?

RFW: Check us out at rideforwater.com! You can meet the team, buy a t-shirt to support our cause, or donate!

A-wear-ness. Get it?

M: Where can everyone follow along? 

RFW: You can experience the journey by following us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

The Ride for Water team has now raised over $67,000 out of their goal of $80,000 for clean water! Help our new friends accomplish their goal by donating here.