Our Story

It all started with a bike ride.

In 2007, GIVETOLIVE founders Ashley Ward and Todd McDonald crossed paths with an inspirational young man preparing to embark on a 7,000 km cycle across Canada

Tony Griffin, a renowned Irish athlete studying at Dalhousie University in Halifax, had lost his father to cancer only months prior and was cycling to raise funds for others suffering from this illness. McDonald says of meeting Tony for the first time, “What struck me the most was that he was countering his extreme sadness over the loss of his father by immediately doing something to help others. I remember him telling me the best way he knew how to deal with grief was to find others suffering from something worse and help them out. That resonated with me then, and still does today.”

The crazy Irishman had no bike, hadn’t been on a bike since he was 12, and had no real idea how big Canada was. What he did have was a 1-way ticket to Vancouver and complete faith that success was his only option. McDonald and Ward were so inspired by his “belief in all that could go right” that they volunteered to help him with logistics and fundraising. Six months later, Tony had cycled 7,000 kms from Vancouver to Halifax and the adventure had raised over $500,000 to donate to charities fighting the war on cancer. They were so moved by the joy and pleasure they got from helping others that they knew this once-in-a-lifetime experience had to become a way of life.

The following year, Ashley, Todd, and two friends decided to cycle from Halifax to Texas to raise additional funds for cancer-related charities. After telling a few friends of their plans, their little group of four quickly grew to 60 people. “We were completely surprised at the response and had no idea how to lead a group of 60 cyclists for 5,000 km,” says Ward of that first year. “Even though we didn’t know exactly how we would do it, we knew we could do it and we were amazed at how many people stepped up to help out.” Four months later, 60 cyclists arrived safely in Austin, Texas and another $276,000 was donated to worthy causes. Ashley and Todd continually heard from people on the ride that the experience had affected them so much that they vowed to change their lives for the better – to become healthier, to give more, and to believe that they too could achieve extraordinary things. A foundation was formed and an association founded.

Since 2008 we’ve raised more than $3.8 million for a variety of different causes.

In the years since that epic ride to Texas, GIVETOLIVE has become rooted in the belief that everyone can be happier and healthier through generosity, fitness, and the achievement of the extraordinary. Our family, friends, and the community have generously helped GIVETOLIVE projects raise close to $4 million for numerous charities around the world that are combating unnecessary disease and suffering. We don’t plan to slow down. In fact we are growing our association to enable us to help in new ways and raise even more to help where we can.

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