Sharing Missions: RRT - The Rapid Relief Team
It was May 2015, a fresh autumn morning in Burnie, Tasmania where we gathered around the foreshore before setting out on the official route of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's Pollie Pedal, raising money for Carers Australia. I recall the brisk air on my face, knees and hands as we set off on our 4-day ride pedalling for this great cause.
When participating in charity rides, you feel a sense of ‘worth’… it’s a unique feeling, working every muscle in your body, including those in your brain, as you endure 100km + days in aid of those in need. In this day and age, it is easy to swipe your credit card or make a bank transfer to donate money to charity, but there is a secondary effect when you are physically associated with such an event. And when we speak of ‘physically associated’ I don’t mean just riding the bike, I also mean those people who are giving up their time to make the event happen.
Charity is about human beings coming together for the benefit of others , whether it be financial or in some other shape or form. In the case of the Pollie Pedal, every year, I ride a bike for hundreds and sometimes thousands of kilometres, my friends and family donate for me being mad to do so, and those in need benefit from these funds. But whilst I am riding, there are people donating their physical efforts to drive support cars, transport our luggage, man the radios communicating to truck drivers, cart food and water to keep us going, book accommodation etc…. these people are the most valuable part of any charity event, in fact they are the epicentre of the entire process.
So, on this crisp day, after some 75km from Burnie, we arrive in a park for a press conference and being close to lunch, we knew our superb volunteer group would have some food (fuel) organised for us. But something different occurred before my eyes, here were 15 odd superbly dressed young people in their blue caps, red aprons, blue polos, underneath a matching red and blue tent with the letters RRT printed in every angle possible… with beaming smiles on their face, you can well imagine my inquisitiveness!
My curiosity lead to a very informal ‘wow, what is going on here, who are you guys?’…. and the rest is history, as I will explain...
RRT stands for Rapid Relief Team, a global, not-for-profit organisation that serves people with care and compassion in their time of need. They are a mobile dedicated team of volunteers, who are inspired by community spirit and the gift of giving, and trust me, they relay this passion in the way they operate!
RRT have channelled their support efforts into four key areas: youth, emergency services, homelessness and health and disability. Every day in some small way, RRT volunteers offer a helping hand to someone in need.
So amazed by these young people who spent time explaining their organisation to me and feeding over 50 hungry smelly cyclists, I didn’t end up eating all that much, paying for it later in the day when I began to run out of fuel 20km out from our campsite…. But what I didn’t realise after filling the gap in my belly at dinner that night, was that another RRT crew was preparing to be ready at 6am the following morning servings us a hot breakfast! Wow! These people are amazing! I was starstruck.
For the entire 2015 Pollie Pedal, RRT supported us along the way with breakfasts, coffee stops, lunches and end of day refuelling. They have continued to do this since, across several states including the very latest edition in June this year.
The RRT was Established by the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC) in 2013, expressing the Christian principles of care and compassion, by serving those in need with compassionate hearts, quality food and refreshments. Since my first experience with RRT in 2015, their presence and support has been more visible to me across several charity sporting events and more recently how they assisted drought affected farmers in Tullamore, where a very good friend of mine is struggling, click here to read more
Hence as we launched the dates for the 2nd Edition of our Tasmania Circumnavigation Charity Ride, I knew the RRT would be a perfect fit for our mission to be a purely ‘100% Charity’ where all 100% of monies raised goes direct to the charities – the same compassionate and charitable mission that RRT share.
My contact at RRT is Mr Nelson Humber, who has assisted both the Pollie Pedal and StGiles (one of our beneficiaries) for many years now and has been nothing but profession and flexible in preparing for our event and educating me more on RRT’s amazing work.
When chatting to Nelson in June this year, I was in Italy at the time and had no idea that the RRT was also present there and many European countries. Nelson quoted some incredible numbers to me stating “in 2018/2019, RRT Australia supported almost 500 events and served close to 165,000 meals thanks to the efforts of more than 7,800 volunteers” ... I have to say I was gobsmacked by these numbers! He also stated that “if you were to combine RRT’s support globally, it would equate to an RRT event being hosted every 6 hours somewhere around the globe”
I am sure Nelson was taken by my moments of silence as my brain swirled around thinking where else we could run charity rides around the globe and just how fortunate our business was to be joining forces with such an amazingly compassionate organisation.
Nelson continued to explain more about RRT with so much passion “It is our mission to serve people in need, and we do this by offering quality catering assistance to charitable and government organisations confronting some of humankind’s greatest challenges including natural disasters, cancer research and the plight of homeless”
He explained that in more recent years in Australia, they have diversified their support in line with new hardships and disasters, this includes their response to the country’s worst drought in living memory as mentioned earlier. Nelson detailed how the RRT’s efforts in “bringing hope to farmers in the form of donated hay and livestock pellets, as well as their new initiative, the RRT Family Food Box, which itself brings immediate relief to people in need with non-perishable food.”
As you can see, Maglia Nera Tours is nothing but ecstatic to have RRT support our Charity Ride and we hope to continue our relationship with them for many years to come and support their humble work they are doing for our society
You can read more about RRT on their website: https://www.rapidreliefteam.org/
And by all means Donate to RRT if you can: https://www.rapidreliefteam.org/donate/