Nathan, Caleb, Raquel and Orlando hoist their bikes in pride after reaching the Atlantic Ocean, signaling the end of their cross-Canada cycle to end global hunger. (Photo: Submitted)
Abbotsford family cycles across Canada to raise money for ending global hunger
Their sore muscles didn’t stop the Schmidt family from jumping straight into the Atlantic Ocean the moment they saw it.
“We all went running into the water with our clothes on, and then we gathered around and had a prayer circle in the ocean right there,” says Orlando Schmidt, who works as an agriculture manager at a bank in Abbotsford. It was the moment they’d been waiting for: they had completed their 6,000-kilometer cycle across Canada.
Orlando cycled with his kids Raquel, Jayden, Nathan and sonin- law Caleb, while his wife Vivian and daughter-in-law Kaitlyn drove alongside them in a motorhome full of equipment and supplies. The family left their home in Abbotsford on June 8 and arrived at their final Nova Scotia destination August 11. They collected pledges along the way, raising $36,650 for the Foodgrains Bank’s work in ending hunger overseas.
The cycle is over, but the mission is not. I’m just hoping that more people will become aware of this work and will continue to give.
“My life’s work has been in and around agriculture, which is directly tied to food production, so that’s why I was spearheading the idea of addressing the cause of hunger,” says Orlando.
The trip wasn’t always easy, though. The family persevered through sore knees, stomach bugs, long mountainous stretches in B.C. and Alberta, and uneven, narrow shoulders on busy highways.
“There were a couple days where we were getting tired of the danger and it was starting to impact our nerves,” says Orlando. “But seeing everyone conquer the big challenges when things got tough was a highlight. We thank God for keeping us safe.”
Orlando says the family probably won’t do another cross-country cycle anytime soon.
“The cycle is over, but the mission is not,” he says. “We are so thankful for all those who gave to support global hunger needs, and I’m just hoping that more people will become aware of this work and will continue to give.”
To learn more about their efforts or make a contribution, visit foodgrainsbank.ca/cycling
—Shaylyn McMahon, Communications Coordinator