Bike and Build: Marah Holland ’12

BikePicMarah Holland ’12 spent her summer on a mission: cycling cross country to build homes and to build awareness about the importance of affordable housing. She left Rhode Island in June, and spent the summer working her way across the United States on her bike with a group of dedicated volunteers for Bike and Build, an organization that has donated more than $4.5 million to affordable housing; given more than 160,000 hours of building labor; pedaled over 7.5 million miles; and engaged more than 2,000 young adults in spreading the word about the affordable housing crisis in the U.S.

Marah’s group, a team of 30 young adults, ages 18–25, traveled an average 80 of miles each day, totaling 4,620 miles on their RI-to-California route, one of 8 routes taken by Bike and Build groups each summer. As they made their way across the country, they stopped to help with 14 affordable housing projects. They were given sleeping accommodations, food, and showers by local churches, community groups, and individuals. Marah and the other volunteers climbed mountains, fixed flat tires, had breakfast at coffee shops that sometimes opened early just for them, saw the world’s largest ball of twine, spent many hours of quality time together, and developed some serious tan lines! Along the way, she blogged about her experience, ending up with a pretty great story!

Marah’s ride raised over $5,000 for affordable housing. Her group raised over $60,000. Visit Marah’s fundraising page.

Interested in spending next summer with Bike and Build? Application information is available at