We often get bikes donated to us that have been in garages or sheds for decades. These bikes may have been forgotten toys or valued best friends of years past that are left in parents' and grown kids' valuable storage spaces. They almost always come with stories. And donors often find it hard to part with the physical reminder of a very dear memory.
We hear many stories like this one. Donors often find the strength to part with these bikes, but certainly not the memories, when they hear about Bikes for the World. Knowing that these bikes can bring similar memories to another family or better yet, improve their lives often is the final nudge they need to 'let go'.
Part of our mission is to make quality used bicycles and parts affordable and available to lower income people and select institutions in developing countries to enhance their lives and livelihoods through better transport.
For example, this old Schwinn, we called Larry's bike (because of the attached plate) was donated by a WUSA employee at a collection there in 2011. Although kids bikes can help get a child to school overseas, quite frankly we get a ton of them. They are often used as 'filler' in our containers to help pack spaces tight and keep the valuable mountain bikes from shifting too much in transport and getting damaged.
"Before I got involved finds like these were being shipped to third world regions. All of these bikes have either been donated or we pulled them from a landfill transfer station metal scrap pile in Maryland," Paul Schulwitz.
The fact is, our Director Keith Oberg wasn't much of a BMXer in his day, so he had no idea what these gems passing through his fingers were worth.
Once Paul got involved, these bikes got set aside for him to inspect and later sell. All of the money raised through these sales goes back into Bikes for the World to help support our mission. Paul has sold hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of vintage BMX 'stuff' for BfW. Instead of providing enjoyment for ONE child, these sales have in turn helped HUNDREDS.
If you are into these cool vintage finds you should totally check out a recent posting by Paul. In fact, you should check it out regardless...it may bring back some childhood memories. Vintage BMX finds in the BfW warehouse.