SAN ANTONIO – During the past four months, a local CEO shifted his duties to embark on a 9,000-mile trek on an electric bike to raise awareness for senior care.
Jeff Salter, founder and CEO of Caring Senior Service in San Antonio, biked across the country to visit each of the company’s offices and raise $100,000 for grab bars to be installed in local seniors’ homes. The journey is part of the company’s 30th anniversary and the Close the Gap in Senior Care movement.
For every $250 raised, Salter said the safety product company VGM Live at Home and Evacare will install two grab bars in senior’s homes.
It was a tough journey both physically and mentally. So much so that the CEO confessed there was a point very early on that he thought about calling it quits. His motivation however, was and continues to be the seniors that his company serves.
“I traveled a full 9,500-miles, visited 30 different states along the way and just met incredible people at every stop I made,” Salter said.
In March, Salter pedaled off on his electric bike with a tiny camper attached. He only packed basic essentials including a few change of clothes and his laptop. As part of Close the Gap, he visited all 45 Caring locations and met with city leaders and activists.
“We’re really trying to look at what we can do to impact our local communities and help to foster that conversation between senior leaders in our communities,” Salter said.
The bike ride was anything but easy for Salter.
“Mental toughness is something you’ve got to be prepared for, and though I prepared myself for it, it’s not until it happens that you really got to kind of dig deep,” Salter said. “Flat (tires) were a regular occurrence, not too many, but enough to where I definitely was changing my tires probably once or twice a week.”
Salter rode back into San Antonio in early August joined by local cyclists.
Although his journey has ended and the financial goal has not been met, Salter is hopeful more people will feel called to donate.
“I had a lot of people hand me money along the way after hearing my story to donate directly to our campaign, and that was incredible,” Salter said. “To have someone that you just met tell your story and then have them donate to your cause was really, really a cool experience.”
The total amount raised according to the company’s website is $64,358.