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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Charity to Hit the Road for Burn Victims

Since 1990, the British-registered charity Friends of Russian Children has been trying to supply Moscow's Hospital No. 9 with something they need more than anything else: clean sheets. The way to get them, they decided, is by bicycle.

Hospital No. 9 houses the largest referral unit for child burn victims in Russia and inadequate laundry facilities make it nearly impossible for them to clean bed linens regularly. Since one of the major causes of cross-infection at the burns unit is dirty sheets, they need more cleaning facilities. Carolyn Cripps, the director of FoRC, as the charity is known, decided that the best way to raise the estimated $75,000 needed to upgrade the hospital's laundry and fill it with equipment would be to organize a sponsored bike ride.

So this June 20, three expatriates from Moscow and about 50 cyclists from London will depart on the second annual St. Petersburg-Moscow charity bike ride. Cripps is hoping the riders and sponsors will top the amount made at last year's race -- over $130,000.

Katy Ross, a construction design engineer from England, has been in Russia for 2 1/2 years. By appealing to companies and friends, Ross has raised $5,000 in pledges for her 725-kilometer ride.

"I didn't think the response would be so positive," Ross said. "People are all saying, we wanted to donate but we weren't sure which one to donate to."

The Moscow city government has pledged to match whatever the charity raises.

Friends of Russian Children is looking for sponsors for the second Charity Bike Ride. For information, call 0171 720 9219 in London or 232-6859 in Moscow.