Students to Bike Across the US to Build Affordable Housing During Summer 2011

Two Truman students plan to bike across the country this summer to help build affordable housing for worthy families.

Students Scott Denno and Morgan Sachs will be on different bike routes, but both have already begun the training and fundraising process that precedes this undertaking.

Denno discovered the organization Bike & Build on the Internet approximately a year ago, and although he has never biked more than 30 miles at one time, he decided this program would be a perfect thing to do the summer between his junior and senior years.

“I thought it would be a really cool adventure, and I wanted to give back to the community because I’ve been really fortunate with what’s been given to me,” Denno said. “I’ve had some experience with helping homeless people, and it made a big impact on me and I always wanted to do something for them. This would be a way to give back to people who are a little less fortunate.”

Denno will be biking from North Carolina to California, and there will be approximately 13 stops on the route to help build affordable housing and to make presentations to educate the community about Bike & Build’s cause. At each stop, the bikers will stay at locations such as church facilities or YMCA buildings. Other organizations such as Habitat for Humanity will help with the building projects.

Denno said another Truman student who participated in Bike & Build, Brian O’Shaughnessy, has been helpful as Denno tries to raise funds and order biking equipment. Each biker must raise $4,000 before the trips. Some of each biker’s money goes toward safe, reliable equipment for the volunteers, most goes toward supplies to build houses and each biker gets to donate $500 to an organization of his or her choice. Denno has chosen to donate his money to Truman’s Habitat for Humanity organization.

Sachs heard about Bike & Build through Sarah Graham, another Truman student who participated in Bike & Build in 2010. Sachs’ group will bike from Rhode Island to California.

“I’m graduating, and I’m in no hurry to find a big girl job and settle down. [Bike & Build] just seemed like something I could really get on board with,” Sachs said. “I’ve never ridden more than five, six or seven miles at a time, so I’ve definitely been working out and going to the rec and training. It will be scary and I guarantee I can’t train enough for it.”

Despite some apprehension about the physical aspect of the ride, Sachs said the combination of adventure and productivity appeals to her. She is excited about the opportunity to travel and see the United States in a unique way.

For more information about Bike & Build, visit

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