This piece is by L.A. Streetsblog contributor Dana Gabbard.

This Sunday, May 6, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels is holding its 23rd annual Walk/Bike-A-Thon fundraiser. The event will take place along the beach bike path in Santa Monica, starting/ending at Beach Park One at 2600 Barnard Way, at Ocean Park Boulevard. Check in and on-site registration begins at 8 a.m. The walk/ride starts at 9 a.m. The walk distance is 3.7 miles; the bike distance is 10 miles. Registration is $20 and can be done online. There will be a raffle with fabulous prizes and games for the kids. All participants will receive a Walk/Bike-A-Thon T-shirt and lunch.

When you register online a personal fundraising page will be provided to facilitate collecting pledges from family, co-workers and friends via e-mail and Facebook. If you can’t make it, you can still donate online or pledge for one of the registered teams/individuals. Whoever raises the most pledges (over $2,000) by June 1, 2018 will receive their choice of an Apple Watch or an Xbox. And of course the main reason to participate is to aid a worthy cause.

One of the people you will be helping is me. I have been a client since late last year as the downward spiral of my health reached a crescendo that left me a semi-invalid (some of you may have seen me at the Streetsblog L.A. 10th Anniversary Celebration getting around with a walker). A social worker put me in touch with St. Vincent and since becoming a client, I have been enjoying healthy, nourishing meals delivered daily by cheerful, encouraging volunteers. They also, from time to time, include with the meals letters of encouragement, cards marking holidays and, on one memorable occasion, a bag full of toiletries. This past Saturday the two young ladies delivering my daily meal also sang Happy Birthday and passed along a card plus some gifts (facial soap, hand soap, and a sweater). Made my day.

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Besides healthy meals they provide safety checks and have a social worker who assists clients to navigate the often daunting web of resources for seniors, the disabled, and chronically ill adults. I have even passed along information I have gleaned, as I have essentially – with some aid – been my own advocate to obtain the means to recover my health and mobility.

What better way to celebrate the first weekend of National Bike Month than to enjoy a ride along the ocean while also doing good?

For more information about St. Vincent’s Walk/Bike-A-Thon, go to the event website, or contact Daryl Twerdahl (Interim Executive Director, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels) at (213) 484-7112 or e-mail dtwerdahl[at]stvincentmow.org.