BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA, March 2: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” Lao Tzu quoted. Mixing their sense of adventure with a purpose to give back in the Summer of 2017, five Georgia Tech students have created a group, One Small Steppe – GT Mongolia Charity Rally. The team serves as fundraiser for U.K. based charity Go Help, which coordinates the rally as well as collects the funds donated. The Mongolia Charity Rally is a grueling 15,000 kilometer charity car race that starts in Brussels,Belgium and finishes in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar. At the end of their journey, the vehicle they use will be donated to a family or city in Mongolia to potentially be converted into a service vehicle.
Rohan Iyer, Mitch Hotop, Tony Chirumbole, Jonathon Murphy, and Gunner Robinson are gearing towards a journey across 2 continents, 6 mountain ranges, 2 deserts, and 23 countries. They will encounter over 20 languages, over a five-week period, with no GPS allowed, just to keep things interesting.
“The rally’s daring nature and length is meant to gain attention and awareness to the needs of countries like Mongoliain ways other fundraisers cannot. This rally also raises awareness of the lack of emergency services and children’s educational centers in third world countries in such a non-traditional method, that I immediately knew it was the right one for us to compete in. We will be able to impact the people of Mongolia directly while also experiencing the beauties of the world.” says Iyer, senior Industrial Engineering student at Georgia Tech. He will be graduating this year and hopes to run his company in high tech field doing business for social good.
The goal of this team is to raise a minimum of $1,300 for Go Help and use additional donations towards purchasing and modifying the vehicle that will be donated. “The easiest way to help out would simply be a monetary donation by following the link http://www.youcaring.com/OneSmallSteppe.
“We are also seeking out corporate sponsors, and they can help in numerous ways in addition to monetarily such as by donating/sponsoring gear, flights, legs of the trip, and more. We would also be happy to trial products, post about them to our Facebook and Instagram followers, or even place logos on our vehicle. If there is any other way a company or individual would like to help our cause, we would love to hear about it,” appeals the team.
Inspired by a few friends, Mitch Hotop, a senior Aerospace Engineering student at GT who hopes to lead design of deep space exploration missions, entered the rally. “The thought of competing in the rally while also contributing to the less fortunate in an area we are going to” he says.
“I love to help people, and the Mongolia Charity Rally offered a chance to be more involved than simply throwing money at a cause” says Tony Chirumbole, senior, Mechanical Engineering. Chirumbole hopes to conduct research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Our vehicle will likely turn into an ambulance or medical cargo transport, which is going to help the fledgling Mongolian healthcare system” adds Jonathon Murphy, working as a co-op for the GTRI. Murphy aspires to work for Apple someday. Gunner “The Renegade” Robinson, a second year mechanical engineering student would love to work with developing communities to create laborsaving technology.” I’m stoked to bring a useful vehicle to the people there and discover some awesome places along the way.” He says.
Team members, with an affinity to help out for causes in their spare time at Georgia Tech, lead different organizations on campus raising funds in numerous ways. They champion a team each year to raise money for St. Baldrick’s, a charity that focuses on funding childhood cancer research. They raised nearly $10,000 over the course of a couple months last year. They are also leaders in Georgia Tech’s For the Kids, a childhood cancer focused organization that raised over $100,000 last year for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Go Help, a UK registered charity, started with the goal of launching and operating ambulances in third world countries. It has also expanded providing other emergency vehicles scholarship programs, and building children’s activity centers.
The team of engineers is gearing for an adventurous journey to remember, with a purpose to offer. Here’s wishing the group success in their endeavor. You may find more information at http://www.onesmallsteppe.com/, Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/OneSmallSteppe/ and Donation Page: http://www.youcaring.com/onesmallsteppe/