Bikes for the World

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

High Five!

Bikes for the World not only supports cycling in distant, remote communities in Africa and Central America, but we also advocate for safer cycling conditions here in the DC area too. Many of our volunteers, board, and staff are avid cyclists. And we are proud to be participating in Greenfest DC this week!

It's pretty obvious we care about the environment...we are after all the nation's largest bicycle reuse program in the nation. We rescue bikes from garages, back yards, recycling facilities, police impound lots, and apartment bike rooms. We send most of these bikes to regions in the world where bikes are hard to come by and yet necessary transportation options.

Give us ten!
That's why when BfW recently received a donation for $11.65 we paid attention. That might not seem like a lot, but I'll get into that later. If you've ever donated a bike with Bikes for the World you probably know we typically ask for a $10 donation with every bike. This not only helps us meet our mission but also increases the quality of bikes we receive instead of just being a drop off point for rusty junk.

The truth is BfW makes it super easy for you to donate a bicycle by coming into your community and sponsoring hundreds of bike collections throughout the year. It saves you on gas and puts your unused bicycle to good use. But the cost of delivering a bike from donor to new owner that conveniently costs money. We figure each bicycle costs between $20-25 on average to have it safely arrive in the hands of an overseas beneficiary. Most of our donors generously add $10 or more with the donation of a bike.

Think about it...10 bucks isn't much. It used to buy you a tank of gas if you were born before 1980. Nowadays it's only a couple gallons. And if you consider how close we live to work and errands we could save that much by riding our bikes a couple times a week.

Carol, Harrison, Adam, Keith, Mark, and Daniel at Tysons
 And that's exactly what long time volunteer Harrison Schutzer did for his environmental class at Hobart College. His professor, Joel Helfrich, had the class not use a car for one week as an assignment. At first, Schutzer found himself walking to class and errands. Then he was able to borrow a bicycle and went further faster.

"The simple switch to a bike reminded me of my time working for Bikes for the World and how much of an impact a bike can really have on an individual,"  wrote Schutzer.

And his donation of $11.65, a calculation of what he saved by not driving for one week, reminded us how important even a small donation can be. If each one of our facebook followers donated just $5, we'd have enough to ship an entire container of bikes to a partner program overseas.

By the way, that donate button is right over there to the can give us FIVE right now! Just check the Other box, tell us $5, and be sure to put Harrison Sent Us in the designation code so we know he inspired you too. But we'll be happy to take $10, $25, or even $100 :)

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