Updated: Dec 18, 2019
WORKING BIKES I find bicycling together one of my favorite family past times. We are all outside, getting a little exercise, and we can go as far we want (or until little legs poop out). If your biking family is like mine, your kids grow out of their bikes it seems like every season, and you find your garage full of unused bikes.
Sure – you could sell them at a garage sale, or put broken ones to the curb; however, another idea is to donate them to Working Bikes a 501(c)(3) that gives old bikes new life by repairing and donating them as tools of empowerment in local and global communities. In developing countries and areas plagued by poverty and high levels of unemployment, a bicycle could help provide access to jobs, education, medical attention and other resources. In 2018, 12,632 bikes were collected, 6,420 bikes were shipped to global partners and 1,053 bikes were donated through their local donation programs.
Working Bikes is proud to have several local donation programs that provide bicycles to youth and to adults to allow them not only a means of transportation and recreation, but also to take advantage of community resources and opportunities. “I think that beyond being a fun way to get around, bikes can provide individuals with a sense of independence and a connection to a broader community,” says Devon Snyder, Community Engagement Manager of Working Bikes Chicago.
The organization is primarily funded by sales of donated and refurbished bicycles from their full-service storefront and bike shop. “Our customers know that in addition to getting a quality bike at a good price (the average cost a bike is $200), they are also supporting our nonprofit programming,” says Devon.
Besides the donation of bikes, which can be brought to their Chicago warehouse or to any of their partnering drop-off locations, Working Bikes is always looking for more volunteers to join their organization, and they make it easy by hosting five weekly drop-in volunteer sessions. To find out more information about donating a bike or funds or to volunteer in their activities, visit them at www.workingbikes.org.
Mindy’s August Giving Inspiration: Tape coins around a playground for kids to find.
ABOUT THE WRITER Mindy Kyle is the owner of Be Inspired Studios and is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Masters in Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dog in the land.