Dan Miller to Complete Two Month-Long Trek from Washington to Maine to Raise Funds and Awareness for Nonprofit Devoted to Ending Homelessness – One Family at a Time – During its 30th Anniversary Celebration
Duluth, Ga., August 3, 2021 – It’s been 33 years since Dan Miller first donned a cycling helmet and turned a pastime into a passion. Having tackled his longest trek during the Six Gap Century Bike Ride out of Dahlonega – which features 104 miles up and down six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains, Miller is on the road (literally) for one of the biggest challenges of his life. On August 1, this Duluth, Ga. resident set out from a small town north of Seattle, Washington for a cross-country ride that ends in Bar Harbor, Maine. Expected to take roughly two months to complete, the ride holds far more meaning than an opportunity to check a box off his bucket list. Miller hopes this ride will help raise awareness and funds for a nonprofit near and dear to his heart – Rainbow Village. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the nonprofit dedicated to providing safe housing, education, and community support systems to families experiencing homelessness, Miller hopes to raise $30,000 to help Rainbow Village move the needle to ending homelessness in Metro Atlanta. Donations can be made at www.DanMillerRides.com.
A resident of Gwinnett County since 1985, Miller first became familiar with Rainbow Village as a member of the congregation at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church. His journey with the nonprofit began as yardwork at the – then – Rainbow House before evolving to financial contributions and volunteer work in the nonprofit’s afterschool program when it was hosted at his church during construction of Rainbow Village’s current campus in the heart of Duluth. He watched it grow in size and scope over the course of three decades – from serving one family at a time at its start to up to 30 families for a period of two years so they can confidently embark on the journey to self-sufficiency and thrive beyond the village upon graduation from the program.
“As much as crisis management is needed, rotating from one homeless shelter to the next isn’t the way for families to get back on track,” said Miller. “The mission at Rainbow Village and their four pillars of providing Help Hope Housing and Healing to families in need really resonated with me. Instead of a cookie cutter program, Rainbow Village takes a customized multigenerational approach to restore families to wholeness.”
An engineer for 28 years and physics teacher at Brookwood High School for the last 12, Miller is kicking off his recent retirement by pairing a lifelong dream with his church’s mission of “Connecting Faith with Everyday Life.” As a retirement gift to himself, he bought a brand-new Trek Domane bike and began making plans for a cross country ride to benefit Rainbow Village and the families it serves. Following a route created by Adventure Cycling, the biggest challenges Miller believes he will face during the trek are his own adaptability (he’s already had to adjust his route by 200 miles due to road closures from a forest fire), getting up the energy to blog daily on DanMillerRides.com, and finding a place to rest his head each night. It is not lost on him that the last challenge is one that homeless families face every day and not by choice. While on his journey, he will have a lot of time to think about the roadmap for the rest of his life as he transitions from a career he loved at a school with a big heart for the community that surrounds it to retirement. He feels blessed to have his family all in the same city and looks forward to reuniting with all of them when he returns from his ride, especially his 18-month-old granddaughter. Miller plans to be back in time to attend Rainbow Village’s annual “We Are Family” Benefit Gala on October 16, 2021 at Atlanta Athletic Club.
“We are constantly surprised by the love that pours out of the Gwinnett County community for Rainbow Village,” said Melanie Conner, CEO for the nonprofit. “In the case of Dan Miller, that’s a love affair that dates back to our organization’s humble beginnings. We are so grateful for his big heart for serving others and as he pedals his way across the country, our thoughts, love and prayers will be with him every mile and every minute of the way.”
For those who wish to stay up to date on Dan Miller’s ride and show their support by making a donation to Rainbow Village, they can do so at www.DanMillerRides.com. Anyone who is inspired by Miller’s example and wishes to have an impact on Rainbow Village and the families it serves are encouraged to visit www.RainbowVillage.org. There they can learn about volunteer opportunities, which include mentoring, providing meals, property beautification, assisting with fundraising events and much more.
About Rainbow Village: Established in 1991, Rainbow Village is a transformative 501(c)3 nonprofit program located in Duluth, GA that serves families that are currently experiencing homelessness. Our model provides safe housing, education, and community support systems that allow families to confidently embark on the journey to self-sufficiency and thrive beyond our village. To learn more about Rainbow Village, register as a volunteer or make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.rainbowvillage.org. To stay up-to-date on the latest Rainbow Village news, the nonprofit invites you to connect with them on social media, including Facebook @RainbowVillageInc, Instagram @rainbowvillageinc, Twitter @rainbowvillage1, and LinkedIn @rainbow-village-inc.