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Wilton Native to 'Bike and Build' Across the U.S.

WILTON, Conn. – Wilton native Kerri Lyons has handed over two months of her summer to support affordable housing as a member of the volunteer program "Bike and Build."

The nonprofit was founded in 2002 and sends about 270 young adults from 18 to 28 on a nine-week bike trip over the summer with stops to work on a housing project.

“You have no idea how much it helps people, and the people you meet along the way you really see where your money goes,” Lyons said. “It’s not a Band-Aid kind of charity. You’re giving someone a home so they can save money for other things.”

The 23-year-old is currently working as a lab instructor at Duke University and wanted to do something unique over the summer before attending graduate school at the University of Utah for Decision Making and Human Behavior.

“Because of all the sports I participated in, I wasn’t able to do a lot of community service during school. And this is a great way to do both,” Lyons said.

The program requires that Lyons raise $4,500, participate in local housing projects, and do some light bicycle training. She only has $500 to go and has been enthusiastically supported by the local community. She has also been participating in Habitat for Humanity projects in Durham, N.C.

Lyons’ particular route for Bike and Build is called Central U.S. which starts at Virginia Beach, Va, and ends in Cannon Beach, Ore., a total of 3,800 miles. There are ten days when her group will stop and participate in a build site that had applied for the assistance, though each site gets only one day from the riders. And each day the riders have to bike between 40 and 110 miles.

“You have the entire day. It’s not a race, you can stop for snacks,” Lyons said. “This is like you’re biking along with your friends, and you’re goofing around and singing.”

If you want to help Lyons reach her fundraising goal or find out more about the program visit her Bike and Build profile here.

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