April 5, 2019

Best wishes for safe travels and heartfelt thanks to former CFO Peter Glaser on his “Ride for Refugees” this April

Map of ride for refugees route new orleans to chicago


Pete and Robb at a biking event

Photos: Peter and Robb will bike more than 1,200 miles.

This April our former Chief Financial Officer Peter Glaser and his friend Robb Geiger are riding 1,200 miles — and raising funds with each mile they pedal  for Heartland Health Centers.

We were delighted when Peter and Robb reached out to say they wanted to dedicate their ride to Heartland Health Center’s work with refugees and immigrants, and planned to fund-raise to help underwrite our work.   

Providing care to more than 26,000 patients a year in Uptown, Albany Park, Rogers Park, Skokie and beyond — some of the most diverse communities in Chicago or anywhere — care for immigrants and refugees is an important part of our work. Currently nearly one in three of our patients are best served in a language other than English.  Supporters who would like to help underwrite their trip can do so via our website here

Here’s a bit more from their blog about the trip:

Reprinted from Robb & Pete 2019 Tour: Why are we riding? And why are we raising money for refugees? 

At the end of our long ride in September 2018, Peter and I (Robb) were ready for another challenge.  I suggested getting a train down to New Orleans and riding back to Chicago, and Peter liked the idea.  Then, in the course of planning and thinking about this trip, I had the feeling that doing these bike trips is somewhat self-indulgent; it is time that I am not using to give something back.  

Then I had a brainstorm: we could use the ride to raise money for a good cause.  What kind of cause? Refugees were in the news, and therefore on my mind. Thus was born our Ride for Refugees.  And I had another thought: We travel for fun…….they don’t. And that is our motto.

The funds raised will be used to provide HHC’s range of services, such as: chronic disease management, physical exams, women’s health, cancer screenings, dental care, and anxiety and depression screenings, as well as other mental health services.  HHC is a member of the Refugee Health Task Force, a group convened by Heartland Alliance (an affiliate organization) to address emerging health issues that refugees face. Also, several refugee resettlement groups are represented on HHC community advisory boards.

My friend Mary Dudek, who runs the HHC Lincoln Square health center, says that she gets many refugees into her clinic for ongoing care that includes PTSD, chronic pain management, and depression/anxiety.  She tells me that when she started at Heartland 10 years ago, they had no services for refugees, and she is very proud of the capacity they have been able to build.

So, we feel this is a win-win for everyone involved.  We get to do an epic ride and see a part of the country that neither one of us has explored in-depth.  You, for five or ten cents a mile, get to travel vicariously and learn about this country along with us, and Heartland gets some money to help their outreach to refugees in the Chicagoland area.   And the refugees get to see that there is another, more welcoming, side to America than what they are seeing coming out of Washington D.C.

We are gratified Peter and Robb chose Heartland Health Centers  Even before they leave, they have raised nearly $3,500 — thank you, Peter, Robb and your friends!  Travel safe, and we look forward to celebrating you when you return!