Join Me in Sponsoring Bike4Friendship’s Benefit for Children with Special Needs

Today I’m posting something a little unusual; I have a request on behalf of a very special organization.

You guys know that I am a big believer in using our couponing prowess to not only help our families, but to help others in need as well.

From donating canned goods at Purim for the Matanot L’Evyonim Challenge, to sending toiletries and gift cards to victims of the Joplin tornado, you savvy couponers have proven that we can live fruitfully in many ways – the greatest of which is our ability to give generously.

That’s why I hope that my readers will consider demonstrating that beautiful generosity again by donating $10 to the Bike4Friendship Ride.

Bike4Friendship is an awesome adventure – a cross-country bike ride to benefit children with special needs and their families through the Friendship Circle.

Three bikers, Dani Saul, Zalmi Pelrman and Shmuel Rothstein (who all just happen to be rabbis, too – does that make them righteous riders?!) are peddling across the United States. They started out on June 26th, 2011 in Livingston, NJ, traveled down the Eastern Seaboard to Georgia, and turned westward to Louisiana.

Yesterday, they passed through Austin, Texas and set their sites on their final destination – Los Angeles, California on August 25. Along their 4,000-mile route, they are meeting with some twenty Friendship Circle chapters, spreading awareness, love and support.

Sounds like a great cause, Mara… But what’s the KOAB connection?

I first learned about Friendship Circle from my dear friend Abbi. Her son, Adi, has Sotos, a rare overgrowth syndrome. Abbi has shared on her blog how much the Friendship Circle’s camaraderie means not only to her son, but also to her, her husband and Adi’s four siblings.

Then a few months ago, I “met” {quotations because our friendship is online} my friend Sheva and her gorgeous daughter Rozie, who has Down syndrome. Recently, Sheva wrote on her blog about how the Friendship Circle has become a community for her family – a solace for her and a showering of love for her children.

Abbi’s son is the same age as my oldest, and Sheva’s toddling daughter is two, just like my youngest. Although my husband and I don’t parent a child with special needs, Adi and Rozie – and their sweet siblings and parents – are incredibly dear to our hearts.

Anyone that gives them the kind of unconditional love and support they get from Friendship Circle is pretty darn awesome in our book!

That’s why we decided to approach Friendship Circle about Kosher on a Budget becoming a sponsor of Bike4Friendship. Together with the Circle’s amazing development director, Mendel Groner, we dreamed up this plan that would not only allow us to give as generously as we are able, but that would also, G-d willing, leverage the social media real estate of Kosher on a Budget to share the message with all of you.

So here’s what we cooked up:

Bike4Friendship needs sponsors to make each mile of their ride across America happen. Sponsorship is a pretty good deal – just $4 covers one rider for one mile.

Of course, knowing how much my readers love a great bargain, Friendship Circle wanted to sweeten the deal even further: So for every $10 KOAB readers donate to Bike4Friendship that will actually be sponsoring three full miles … an 18% “discount”. (Not that you can put a price tag on tzedakah. ;-))

Plus, every KOAB reader who donates through this special link will receive a black and turquoise Bike4Friendship wrist band. Do a mitzvah and get a super cool bracelet that will let you spread the message! Mitzvah really does goreret (lead to) mitzvah.

My husband and I feel so strongly about this cause that we want to match KOAB reader’s first $300 in donations – and I’m certain that together, we can raise much, much more!

Please, if you are financially able, consider supporting Friendship Circle and their proven track-record of helping children with special needs and their families.

This secure online donation link for KOAB readers will be live for the next seven days. Do you think we can raise $1,800 together? $3,600? $10,000?! I can’t wait to see the power of my readers! Tizku l’Mitzvot.

The Friendship Circle was founded in 1994 to address an increasing demand for greater social opportunities for children with special needs. Today, there are some 100 Friendship Circle chapters around the world, which have cultivated friendships between 5,000 special children and 11,000 teen volunteers, while also providing emotional support {and loads of fun} to their parents and siblings.


  1. Thank you for bringing this great organization to our attention and for using your blog for such good purposes. You are amazing, Mara! I’m going to donate now.

  2. I donated the first time you tweeted about it. It’s nice to get an update–it’s amazing that the Rabbis are tackling this trip in one of the hottest summers in memory! Yasher Koach!

  3. once more you give a real perspective on budgeting- doing a mitzvah is always worth the deal and this one is a good one! thanks for bringing my attention to it and i’ve now added two great blogs to my reading 🙂

  4. what an amazing and beautiful post. I’m so impressed that you have taken this on, such an amazing success it will be.

    • You are my inspiration, Sheva. Thank YOU. xxoo (And for teaching me not to capitalize the s in syndrome – off to edit that.)

  5. elana weisberg says

    Today I made my donation to your local Friendship Circle. I proudly walk in our Walk for Friendship here in the original Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield. FC has supported my family for over two years now in making our daughter Elianna’s life easier. Elianna has her own special place there and they have opened my life, my eyes and my heart to a better place overall. The FC is outstanding and if you have one near you I strongly encourage you to visit and get involved. JOIN the circle!! I would like to send you a bracelet from our FC and we can share each other’s group.
    Thanks for all your savings help too!

  6. Bless these Rabbis for their service and bless you for supporting this. My very best friend has a son with pervasive developmental disorder who is also on the Autism spectrum. She is a single parent and appreciates all the help and support she gets from others in raising her son. It can be a very difficult and isolating experience raising a specail needs child, but also very rewarding.

  7. Thank you for supporting this great organzation. We also have been participating in the Walk4Friendship. I still need to register for this year and we are hoping to become power walkers so we can get a free membership.

  8. We donated $10, I think we went through your link but I’m not so sure.
    Hatzlacha in raising the funds. This is a great organization.

    • Thank you Dassie. If you clicked on the link from my blog, then that was my link. either way, so happy to have the funds going to Bike4Friendship!!!

  9. I did not go through your link…which is ok…I do not “need” the bracelet…but I just wanted you to count it in your total so you know how much your blog was able to raise…I donated $18.

    Thanks for all you do,

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