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SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€“ With the beginning of winter just a few weeks behind, few people have plans for the summer. Fewer still have made plans to cross the country on a bicycle without pause, excepting a few stops to build houses for the less fortunate.
Recent URI Graduate Marah Holland, a South Kingstown native, has already made her summer plans. She hopes to pass up the beaches this year for a cross-country bicycle ride, starting in Providence and ending in San Francisco. Along the way, she will stop at several build sites where she will work with groups like Habitat for Humanity to build homes for those who canâ€™t afford them.
Bike & Build has been sponsoring riders like Holland for ten years and has contributed more than $4 million to housing groups across the United States.
â€śAfter college, I wanted to do some type of a service program,â€ť said Holland. â€śI ended up getting a position in Oregon with Americorps VISTA. While I was there, one of my teammates mentioned Bike & Build. It sounded really interesting.â€ť
At Americorps VISTA, Holland works with non-profits and school districts to develop workplace-wellness programs for their employees.