“I’ve never owned a bike and hadn’t ridden one in 30 years. I wanted a bike so that I could build up my healthy habits. My friends tell me that they see a transformation in me already.”
That is what Carl told Bike Works earlier this year. He is one of hundreds of adults to receive a bike through Bike Works’ Bikes-for-All! program in 2017. Carl learned about Bikes-for-All! at Recovery Café, an organization that works with people experiencing homelessness and/or addiction.
After Carl received his bike he became interested in learning how to fix and maintain it. He began to attend Bike Works’ volunteer drop-in parties on Thursdays and Sundays. Now he says, “I try to come every week. I’m learning to work on kids’ bikes . . . I wish Bike Works had been around when my kids were young. I would have loved to get them on bikes and to have ridden as a family.” Carl has refurbished 10 youth bikes so far. After being safety checked by a staff mechanic they will be on their way to children from low-income families through Bike Works’ Kids Bike-o-Rama giveaway program.
For more than 20 years, Bike Works’ core commitment has remained the same – to get bikes into the hands of those who need them, while diverting thousands of pounds from the waste stream each year. In 2016 Bike Works collected over 7,500 unwanted bicycles from throughout Seattle. To us, they represent opportunity.
No matter what path a bike takes once it gets to Bike Works, it becomes a vehicle for making positive community change. These reclaimed bikes increase access to earth-friendly, low-cost transportation. They engage youth, and people of all ages, in healthy activity, while nurturing self-confidence, determination, and leadership. They build community connections across racial, ethnic, language, gender, sexual-identity, religious, and socioeconomic differences.
In the last 10 years Bike Works has increased the number of youth served by 350%. Every year our participants cycle more than 6,500 miles, and donate more than 10,000 volunteer hours. Last year, through our Bike Giveaway programs, we put over 700 bikes into the hands of people like Carl. And, our efforts extend well beyond our own walls. Through partnerships with 60+ organizations such as Seattle public schools, and community organizations such as Friends of Youth and Coyote Central, we facilitate programs and leadership opportunities and teach young people how to build and appreciate riding and repairing bikes at sites throughout the Seattle Metropolitan area.
Your generosity will keep bicycle wheels spinning all around our community! In 2018 we are on track to achieve even more, but only with your help. Please give more opportunities to youth and adults to participate in Bike Works’ programs by giving a gift of $250 or more today! We anticipate that over 2,500 youth and adults will be impacted next year through Bike Works programming, and with your support we plan to meet 100% of that need.