Awaken Coffee, a start-up nonprofit that will employ people with disabilities in Greenville, is among several organizations participating in the first N.C. Bike Ride fundraiser.

The ride will start on Tuesday, National Giving Day, and Esteamed Coffee Board Member Kirby Barbour will ride his bike 400 miles across North Carolina to raise awareness and funds for Awaken Coffee and nonprofits with similar interests from other parts of the state.

Esteamed Coffee, Moji Coffee & More, A Special Blend, Gabi’s Grounds and Special Pedals also are participating. The minimum goal is to raise $100 for every mile of the bike ride, totaling at least $40,000. Donations will be divided among all the nonprofits.

“We are excited to be a host for this first-ever, statewide collaborative event which will bring wider awareness to seven nonprofits working together toward a common goal: creating jobs for people with disabilities in North Carolina,” said Carol Preston, cofounder of Awaken Coffee. “Through the N.C. Bike Ride, all involved nonprofits are showing our great state how much we care about our mission and each other’s efforts to create meaningful work for people with disabilities.”

Awaken Coffee and all the other shops involved are bringing workforce development opportunities to the communities they serve, said Jennifer Dyson, Co-Founder of Awaken Coffee.

“Our employees will be so well trained that other businesses may desire to recruit them, thereby allowing each shop to employ additional workers with disabilities seeking a supportive work environment,” Dyson said. “It’s a win-win for all communities involved.”

Barbour will start his ride at Moji Coffee & More in Winston-Salem and ride to A Special Blend in Greensboro. On Wednesday, he will ride to Cary for a warm welcome by the Esteamed Coffee, Gabi’s Grounds and 321 Coffee teams. On Thursday he will arrive at Awaken Coffee, currently based at Unity Church, 4301 Charles Blvd. The ride wraps on Saturday with Special Pedals in Wilmington at a grand finale event at FlyTrap Brewing.

Awaken will hosting Barbour from 11 a.m. to noon on Thursday at Unity Church. Visit to learn more or support the effort.

Contact Bobby Burns at and 329.9572.