Hello! My name is Lucas Onan. I am a 25 years old graduate of Appalachian State University currently working as a ski instructor in Vail, Colorado. I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Go Pack!) but have spent most of my life in the Asheville, North Carolina area. I was born with a rare condition called arthrogryposis leaving my left arm underdeveloped. The limb can be used as clamp as my range of motion comes only from my shoulder- itís very handy as a clothes hanger! This has not deterred me from setting goals; it actually may have served as motivation for me to reach higher and push myself harder. One of my first passions was basketball. I made the basketball team throughout middle school and high school, competing at the varsity level my junior and senior years. I was also the captain of the menís cross country team in the fall and ran track in the spring.
While at App State I studied Recreation Management, Sociology, and Entrepreneurship and gained a greater understanding of myself and the world around me. I realized how much I love to be outside (and paired this with my love of being active). I expanded from my high school days of running on the cross country team to running the many trails surrounding the University. I also began biking and swimming and competed in a couple of triathlons in North Carolina. Early in my college career I learned who that God guy is and became involved with Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF). I drove out to the Grand Teton National Park with a buddy where we worked for a summer and were a part of A Christian Ministry in the National Parks. As part of this ministry we were given jobs in the park and volunteered to put on services every Sunday throughout the park with a small team of others who had applied for the ministry. It was one of the most profound summers of my life, both in the fact that I was outside climbing the mountains every chance I got, and that I was being challenged and growing in my faith. This experience led me to eventually become a volunteer mountaineering guide for the Young Life Camp Beyond Malibu based in the mountains of British Columbia. I have served with them for the past two summers.
I first became aware of the housing crisis on a global scale while on a mission trip to South Africa in college. We worked in what are called squatter camps. These are places where people squat on land for a period of time until they can legally stay there (thatís how it works in the surrounding Cape Town area). The people who squat on the land build their homes out of anything they can find- cardboard, sheet metal, old wood, etc. This experience opened my eyes to the need back in my home country. While the conditions here might not be quite as dire as South Africa, there is still a huge need for affordable housing. Hearing about Bike & Build through a friend who completed a trip really sparked my interest. This is a great opportunity to accomplish something Iíve dreamed of- bike across the country; with something I am passionate about- helping the affordable housing cause in my home country.
I canít deny I have certain hesitations with the thought of biking across the country with one arm, but thatís also the luring thought thatís pulling me in. Itís a challenge. Like many things in my life are, but just another challenge to overcome, a metaphorical mountain to climb. And boy do I love climbing mountains. I also love helping people out. I always try to tie that in with my travels. I want there to be a meaning behind my adventures. Yes, this is an opportunity to ride across the country (which is AWESOME!), but the deeper lining behind the trip is to help build affordable housing; an enormous need in this country as the gap between the upper and middle/lower class widens by the day. I am blessed to have jobs that provide food and housing and a tad bit on the side for me and feel a responsibility to help my fellow man succeed in this sometimes hostile environment we call home. Please join me in my effort to share this adventure; a journey of new friendships, long hard miles, stunning beauty, and new beginnings through this affordable housing cause.
|Lucas has currently raised $4,566.|
That's 101% of his $4,500 fundraising goal.