Hunger Fast 

Memphian cycles across the country to raise money for African orphans.

Cyclists can work up quite an appetite, and as Memphian Tom Rand bikes on a 50-day Hunger Ride across the country, starvation will be on his mind.

Last month, Rand left from Charleston, South Carolina, on a bike ride intended to raise money to help African children. Rand, an advocate for the Christian-based relief organization Food for the Hungry, hopes to raise at least $100,000 to feed orphaned children with HIV/AIDS and start a school in Ethiopia.

"Two years ago, I went to Ethiopia with a friend. I saw the poverty and what life is really like," said Rand, who teaches fourth grade at the all-boys Presbyterian Day School. "My heart was broken over the things I saw. You can't forget that stuff."

During the trip, his friend volunteered at a clinic, and Rand said he watched doctors tell a 25-year-old woman that she was infected with HIV/AIDS. Rand also befriended a young boy who snuck into the clinic every day for two weeks.

"We called him Little Nebraska because he wore the same Nebraska sweatshirt every day. But it wasn't because he really liked Nebraska," said Rand. "That was all he had to wear."

After the trip, Rand knew he had to do something but didn't know what. The idea for the Hunger Ride hit him while he was on a four-day, 400-mile bike ride from Knoxville to Memphis.

"I have an adventurous spirit," said Rand.

He figures if he can ride 400 miles in four days, he can cross the country in 50. Throughout the school year, Rand has been finding sponsors for his journey. He held a benefit dinner at his church, and began selling T-shirts and armbands called Randbands.

"A fourth-grade boy in my class came up with that name," said Rand.

One Friday last month, Rand drove to Charleston. His bike ride kicked off the next day, and he plans to end up in Seaside, Oregon, by the end of the summer. From there, he'll fly home.

To prepare for his ride, Rand's been riding all over Memphis and putting in extra hours at the gym.

While his goal is raise money, Rand said he also hopes to raise awareness.

"HIV/AIDS is the greatest global crisis in the history of mankind," said Rand. "Thousands die daily, and I just don't think people here know about it. There's this mentality in the United States that we only need to help people here, but the poverty line is so different overseas."

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

    • Youth Justice

      A big fight and a big new plan have put youth justice in focus here.

More by Bianca Phillips

Readers also liked…

  • Natural Healing

    Arkansas fires up its medical marijuana program.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • Nextdoor Homecoming

    Social network comes back to East Buntyn, where it all started.
    • Jul 27, 2017
  • Institute Changes

    The Urban Child Institute starts new chapter with a new leader, new focus.
    • Aug 17, 2017
© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation