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Navajo man biking 400 miles to raise funds to power Native American homes

Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 20:00:39-04

Mylo Fowler is hitting the road with his bicycle on a 400-mile trek.

Fowler is a Navajo photographer, Native American advocate and humanitarian looking to raise funds to power Native American homes.

His journey, which kicked off on Monday, will go from the Great Salt Lake to his home on the Navajo Reservation.

"It's just such a great blessing to be able to help somebody," said Fowler.

This is all a part of Heart of America's Skip the Grid Initiative.

"Our goal is to raise $50,000, and all those funds will be used to power more homes later this fall," Fowler said. "Typically that will help us power about 50 more homes."

Fowler says he has been doing this since 2015. In that time, he has helped bring power to more than 400 homes, with the help of generous donations.

According to numbers from Heart of America, an estimated 14 percent of Native American families are without reliable access to power.

That means families across large areas of both Utah and Arizona are unable to safely power devices or refrigerate their food.

"If you don't have power, then you probably don't have the internet," said Fowler. "These are things that certainly can keep children behind, and possibly even fall even further behind in education, so our goal is to minimize that gap and provide solar power for them."

Fowler says he is hoping his ride will have an immediate impact on families who need it the most.

"A mom and dad or a kid pushes a button and boom, their home illuminates," he said. "That does a lot for, you know, their house, what they can see."

Fowler says the goal is to reach that 400-mile mark by Friday. That means he will have to pedal about 80 to 100 miles a day to reach the Page, Arizona area by then.

The ride will culminate on his 40th birthday.

Fowler is encouraging people to follow along for his ride and donate to Heart of America's Skip the Grid Initiative. The organization has provided solar lanterns to 10,000 students and installed power in 75 homes.

Goal Zero and SOLV Energy are matching donations up to $20,000. Other sponsors include Fezzari Bicycles and Thule.