My Story

eric rides

I Had a Crazy Idea

This all started with a crazy idea I had one day when I was out riding my bicycle.

“I am going to ride my bicycle across the country to raise a quarter million dollars for Angel Wings International” I said to myself as I crested a hill on an afternoon bike ride in San Diego.

This crazy and awesome idea started in 2017, and at the time I never thought it would become as big as it has.

When your “Why” is strong enough, the “How” will reveal itself.

My Reason Why

My reason why dates back to 2010, when a massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake stuck the island of Haiti. The country is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and was rocked to its core by the earthquake. They were in desperate need of help.

2010 haiti devastation from hurrican hazel
2010 haiti hurricacane disaster

A close friend of mine, Andy Jeanty, was born in Haiti and moved to the US when he was 17. We are both members of the Cutco Hall of Fame and had been working and traveling the world together for over a decade. When he asked for my help, I didn’t hesitate. The mission was simple, or at least we thought it was. We we’re going to build a fully functional medical clinic in the city of Jacmel.

We originally thought it would take 1-2 years and could be done for $100K.

cutco friends andy jeantry with eric gillman

The Fund Raising Starts

It started with my own monetary donations and then transitioned to me running my own fundraising events. Prior to the Ride for Hope was “The Run for Hope” and “The Fight for Hope”.

During the “Run for Hope” I ran the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon and raised $3,800. The “Fight for Hope” was an exhibition boxing match with my best friend, TC Smith. FYI, I won…and we are still best friends.

san diego marathon
the fight for hope for haiti

A Direct Hands-on Effort
to Bring Hope to Haiti.

After raising over $10,000 for Angel Wings International, I found myself on a plane to Haiti, to build this medical clinic.

I have been to Haiti four times now — and along with over 100+ other extraordinary volunteers we built something incredible — A fully functional medical clinic that saves lives every single day! We built a beacon of hope for a nation of people who needed it most.

volunteers building a medical clinic in haiti
angel wings international volunteer construction at haitian medical clinic

Over the course of 6 years, with personal donations from many, we raised over $1M and constructed the clinic ourselves. On the 7-year anniversary of the earthquake, we hosted the Grand Opening of the Angel Wings Clinic. It was one of the best days of my life.

207 opening of volunteer built medical clinic jacmel, haiti
medical workers at jacmel, haiti medical clinic

The clinic is operational and in constant need of funds to pay the doctors. 100% of the money that goes to AWI is used for the medical clinic, paying staff and purchasing medical supplies. We work with over 100 volunteers and thousands of private donations to make this mission of “building health and hope for Haiti” a reality.

jacmel, haiti medical clinic
medical clinic founders

The Ride: Miami to San Diego — 3,000+ Miles — 8-Weeks

On March 17th, 2022 I will depart from Miami on a mission to ride by bicycle to San Diego. It is over 3,000 miles and will take 8 weeks. We will raise $250,000 for the Angel Wings International clinic, while positively impacting communities along the way.

On March 17th, 2022 I will depart from Miami on a mission to ride by bicycle to San Diego. It is over 3,000 miles and will take 8 weeks.

We will raise $250,000 for the Angel Wings International clinic, while positively impacting communities along the way.

I am also the author of “The Power to Change; Creating the life of your dreams through healthy choices.” As an obese teenager who struggled with behavior issues, I was eventually kicked out of high school and had many run ins with local law enforcement.

Through making small changes every day, over a long period of time, I was able to turn my life around. As I bike across country I will also be speaking to young people about my message of, “Creating hope through healthy choices.”

100% of the proceeds from my book (available on Amazon), as well as every dollar raised for Eric Rides for Hope will go directly to fund our medical clinic. Together we can keep this dream alive and keep bringing hope and health to the people of Haiti.

Lets Ride!!!

On March 17th, 2022 I will depart from Miami on a mission to ride by bicycle to San Diego. It is over 3,000 miles and will take 8 weeks. We will raise $250,000 for the Angel Wings International clinic, while positively impacting communities along the way.

I am also the author of “The Power to Change; Creating the life of your dreams through healthy choices.” As an obese teenager who struggled with behavior issues, I was eventually kicked out of high school and had many run ins with local law enforcement. Through making small changes every day, over a long period of time, I was able to turn my life around. As I bike across country I will also be speaking to young people about my message of, “Creating hope through healthy choices.”

100% of the proceeds from my book (available on Amazon), as well as every dollar raised for Eric Rides for Hope will go directly to fund our medical clinic. Together we can keep this dream alive and keep bringing hope and health to the people of Haiti.

Lets Ride!!!

angelwings international donations

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