SPOKANE, Wash. -- Nearly three dozen people from all over Washington State have embarked on quite the journey. The SEA TRI KAN Bike Ride is a 400-mile bike ride from Seattle to the Tri Cities and then on to Spokane.
The five-day cross-state bike ride raises awareness and money for refugee resettlement efforts. World Relief started the event four years ago.
Jackson Lino participated in this year’s ride. He is a former refugee from Sudan, and a resettlement specialist for World Relief Spokane.
"I wanted to take a stand as far as what's happening in the world. As a refugee myself, I have gone through some of the issues, and some of the things that current refugees are going through right now. I understand what they are feeling,” Jackson said.
Jackson said he did not train for the ride, and at times was be tiresome. But he said he tries to stay focused on his purpose.
"You kind of get tired and you think about what is really happening and your purpose for doing it. It just gives you that energy to keep going,” Jackson.
The number of refugees resettling in Spokane is down tremendously. World Relief officials told KREM 2 there are more federal restrictions on refugees seeking asylum in the United States.
The SEA TRI KAN Bike Ride helps to raise money to continue resettling refugees into Washington communities. This year, the fundraising goal is $115,000. Since this event is a fundraiser for the organization's match-grant program all of the proceeds and the value of volunteer hours and donations will be matched 2 to 1.
World Relief Seattle Outreach Specialist Celiz McClish said they have seen a lot of support for this event.
"It's really encouraging because we know it's not just for the sake of the ride, it's for the sake of what's going on, and the fact that we want to make a stand, and say that Washington is a welcoming place,” McClish said.
The group left the Seattle area Wednesday, and are expected to make it to Spokane by Sunday. The riders will gather between 2:45 pm and 3:00 pm at the Millennium Mobius in Kendall Yards and then ride to the Central Spokane YMCA . The public is welcome to cheer them on as they go through town.