Bikes for the World

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bringing Communities Together Across the Globe

Bikes for the World celebrated Bike to Work day this year in the warehouse, which given the day's forecast was not a bad idea! We did support the Rockville Town Center pit stop this year and saw a surprising number of die hard cyclists riding to work Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the staff from CEB was convening on our Arlington warehouse for a day filled with a number of important tasks, including a loading for Kenya and prepping the warehouse for the massive influx of bikes arriving this week from DICK'S Sporting Goods.

Nairobi bike beneficiaries. Courtesy Bina Bilenky
The container we loaded will be heading to Wheels of Africa next week, set to arrive in July. Wheels of Africa works with the cycling tour group Tour d'Afrique to donate bikes to select groups in areas the cycling tour touches. It's a way for their riders to give back to the communities they visit.

Bina Bilenky of Philadelphia, just completed the tour which ended in South Africa this month. Earlier in the ride they traveled through Kenya where she met Wheels of Africa and witnessed the bike donation ceremony in Nairobi. She sent us this photo of our bike beneficiaries.

B4H Wisconsin. Courtesy Jerry Tyler
What made this shipment even more unique than the others is the impressive number of bikes about to arrive in Kenya in July...over 850 bikes! This is possible because we teamed up with another group in Wisconsin also looking to ship bikes to Kenya.

Bicycles for Humanity (B4H) Oregon, Wisconsin recently approached us seeking assistance in making its first overseas shipment. The folks at B4H-Oregon, WI wanted to support the health care activities of a small program in rural Kenya, but wasn't exactly sure how to ship the container of bikes most efficiently.

Conversations led to a four-party agreement between BfW, B4H-Wisconsin, Wheels of Africa, and the community health program in Wagasu, Western Kenya. Together we would get a small number of bikes to that rural community as well as a good number of high-quality bikes and spare parts to the Wheels of Africa program.

Courtesy Jerry Tyler
"Bikes for the World envisions a national movement to collect surplus US bikes and distribute them to partner programs around the world. In turn, these programs repair and distribute these bikes to individuals, together transforming their lives and their communities through enhanced mobility and productivity. 

"This vision encompasses not just the Washington DC metropolitan area-Bikes for the World's home region. It extends to our long-time friends in Chicago, St. Louis, and now Oregon, Wisconsin."  Director, Bikes for the World Keith Oberg on the continuing expansion of BfW.

BfW partnered with St. Louis Bicycle Works last year to help them pack, ship, and place bikes overseas with our established international partners.  BfW did the same with this new group in Wisconsin, B4H-Wisconsin.

CEB prepping warehouse for DICK'S bikes deliveries
With the partnership with national retailer DICK'S Sporting Goods, BfW anticipates receiving about 5,000 bikes in the next couple weeks. Most of these bikes will be stored in our Arlington warehouse until they are shipped out over the next couple months to most of our current international partners.

Several containers will also be delivered to US partners, Working Bikes in Chicago and St. Louis Bicycle Works. Together we hope to donate 20,000 bikes globally in 2014.

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