WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) – Imagine a group of cyclists pedaling for a cause to help people who had to pick up and move their entire lives.

“I think a lot of the people have the wrong assumption, that they've done something wrong,” said Steve Weldon, a leader with the Kansas-based group Ride 4 Refugees. “They're absolutely just like you and me.”

Weldon and the other cyclists will soon pedal north from the U.S.-Mexico border to reach the Canadian border in less than a week.

“We ride 24 hours a day and we have nine riders,” said Weldon. “They each take a one-hour shift and we keep going 24 hours a day with an RV and chase vehicles. We keep it moving. We’ll do the 2,000 miles in five days.”

The group puts a special focus on Lebanon. Even decades after the Lebanese Civil War changed the nation forever, its proximity to war Israel and Gaza reveals a new level of need.

“Their economy has crashed, their government is, basically, non-existent and all of these refugees are coming in,” said Weldon. “We want to do something that takes quite a bit of effort and gives us an idea of what the refugees may go through.”

Weldon said 90 percent of the money the group raises goes to Lebanon to help refugees and the remaining money stays in Wichita for refugees who made it to Kansas from their home nations.

“There are 110 million displaced people on the planet,” said Weldon. “They have been forced from their homes, schools, places of worship, their jobs. They’ve had to leave everything behind. When I remember that, it helps to give me a lot more compassion.”

Ride 4 Refugees started in 2006 as a ministry to serve the “marginalized, rejected and under-resourced people of Lebanon” and reports that $450 can feed a family of four in that nation for a month. Two years ago, the cyclists rode from Syria, Virginia to Lebanon, Kansas. The 2023 ride was from California to Maryland.