Bikes for the World

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pittsburgh Expansion

Bikes for the World is proud to announce an ongoing partnership with City Center Self Storage in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. This collaboration is making our efforts to expand beyond the DC Metro area on a regular basis possible.

City Center Self Storage has agreed to store bikes for Bikes for the World at no cost. They are also serving as a permanent drop off location for residents in the Pittsburgh area. We recently partnered a scout looking to do his Eagle project with us with City Center Self Storage who provided promotion, storage, and a truck for transportation for this inaugural Pittsburgh collection.

"The idea to team up with the amazing charity Bikes for the World arose as an attempt to fuse my love for biking with my desire to somehow make a lasting difference.  I saw other scouts in my troop help out by putting mile markers or benches along a bike trail near our community, but I thought I could stretch the impact of my project farther. I began to research bike charities and found Bikes for the World.  Through their website, I realized how many old bikes are collecting dust in area garages, basements, and sheds and how rewarding it would be for people to be able to ship their old bikes to others who could truly use the bikes to their full potential," Louis Collins troop 366.

Louis checked out our website and started reading stories of how bikes were changing lives around the globe. Bikes that were being tossed away in America but still had a lot of life left in them.

One story made a particular impression on Louis. The story of Alex, a 43 year old cocoa farmer from Bodaa, Ghana. Alex received a bike through our partner Village Bicycle Project.

Alex uses his bike to travel the four miles between the farm and his home. With the help of his bicycle, Alex is able to commute to work four times faster saving time and energy he can now devote to his family.

Louis realized, "if one bike from one collection can change one man's life so entirely, then as a bicyclist, who has multiple old bicycles gathering dust in my garage, and as a scout I have a duty to inform others of the sheer impact we can make with one bicycle."

On April 11th Louis accepted the challenge and enlisted the help of fellow scouts to collect and prep over 100 bicycles that will eventually be donated overseas to help change lives.

An Eagle project is an important step for a Life Scout to earn the distinguished honor of becoming an Eagle Scout. The project is meant to improve or demonstrate the scout's leadership skills.

"Working with a young collection manager to set up a successful collection can be a challenge, especially dealing with longer detailed emails when a lot of kids today prefer shorter text messages. Louis was very thorough while dealing with the set up and preparation of his collection. He answered our emails promptly and returned with many questions that helped him plan a successful collection. I was very impressed with how he embraced every aspect of the collection process and expected him to do very well as a result," Yvette Hess, Outreach Coordinator

Louis had the added challenge of being a first time manager in the Pittsburgh area with no on site support from a BfW representative. He secured the site, reached out to reporters, recruited and trained volunteers, and coordinated the transportation of the bikes.

And his hard work paid off. After the collection Louis had 124 bikes and two weeks later they are still trickling in. "I am glad we could collect so many bikes that will truly change the lives of hundreds of people.

"City Center Self Storage was incredibly helpful and helped us unload all the bikes in a really efficient manner," Louis Collins

"We’re a customer-focused, family-grown business whose founding partners have deep ties to Pittsburgh and a history of self storage Pittsburgh operations. We know the significance of the black and gold colors that make up our logo – they represent a city of passionate people who are as committed to hard work as they are to the people around them. As your fellow Pittsburghers, we’re dedicated to providing a quality product, an unparalleled experience, and superior customer service," City Center Self Storage.

City Center Self Storage reached out to us last year asking how they could get involved and help. It was a partnership that seemed to fit both of our missions perfectly. They offered free storage of bikes allowing us to start our expansion in Pittsburgh. Through other partnerships we hope to also expand in Long Island NY later this year as well as Canada.



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