“On Sunday, April 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Bikes for the World is sponsoring a collection of used bicycles at Evergreen Cove Holistic Learning Center in Easton. Bike donors are asked to make a $10 tax deductible donation to help defray the expense of storing and shipping the bikes.
The mission of Bikes for the World is to provide affordable bicycles to people who need them for transportation. Bikes for the World also offers satisfying community service opportunities to the people who help collect bikes and spare parts in their communities.
Bikes for the World donates bicycles and related parts and supplies to selected non-profit agencies in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and other countries where there is a need and delivery is feasible. Anna Harding, Easton program coordinator, adds, “Bikes for the World has an impact in the US and abroad by partnering with organizations that share a common concern for reducing waste and helping the poor earn more, learn more and live more healthy lives.”
Harding was drawn to the program by reading stories about people whose lives were enhanced when they received a bicycle provided by Bikes for the World. One story that particularly moved her was about Marcellina Nakasobya of Kampala, Uganda. When Nakasobya returned to her family after her release from prison, her husband was gone and she was the sole caretaker of their four children. Through the Women Prisoners Support Organization (WPSO), a Bikes for the World partner, Nakasobya received training and preparation to re-enter society. WPSO helped “”Mama Alex,”” as Nakasobya is known, make a modest down payment to purchase a brown Schwinn bicycle with rack and lock. She borrowed the remaining $16 required to buy the bike, which she now uses to deliver boxes of mineral water to local restaurants. In her words, the bike initiative “”removed the cultural blanket that had blinded my eyes for years”” and now allows her to be financially independent as she supports her children.
Since its founding in 2005, Bikes for the World has collected and distributed more than 31,000 bicycles to 15 organizations in ten countries and in the United States. “Each bicycle represents a ticket to work, school or health services for a low income individual,” says Harding. “The people who receive a gift from Bikes for the World benefit in proportion to the effort they put into pedaling that bike.”
In addition to providing bikes to those who need them, re-conditioning and sale or distribution of each bike provides employment and training to a low income person. The donation of a container of approximately 450 bicycles, plus parts, provides capital and experience to the receiving organization, which helps expand its mission.
Evergreen Cove Holistic Learning Center is located at 770 Port Street in Easton. For more information about the Easton Bikes for the World program, contact Anna Harding at 410-822-6452.