Roberto Chavez Tribute

60000 bike bBikes for the World would like to honor long time volunteer Roberto Chavez who lost his battle with cancer on April 5, 2016. Roberto joined Bikes for the World five years ago and lent a hand doing whatever needed done. (Roberto, seen here, loading our 60,000th bike in 2011)

Roberto was born in Monclava, Mexico and trained as an architect/urban planner at the Universidad de Morelos in Mexico and MIT. He retired from the World Bank, where he was dedicated to poverty alleviation.

Following retirement, Roberto joined a committed team of volunteers at Bikes for the World just as Director Keith Oberg was really ramping up efforts to grow the organization. Roberto's contribution to Bikes for the World helped catapult Bikes for the World into becoming the nation's largest bicycle reuse organization.

Roberto drove trucks, helped process and load bikes at Lorton and Springfield, and more recently, as his health waned, volunteered in the BfW office. Roberto was an early supporter of Bikes Not Bombs in the 1980s. He and Keith served together in the 1990s on the board of the Institute for Tranportation and Development Policy.

Our thoughts are with Roberto's family. He was the beloved husband of Ricky Weiss; father of Rebecca Beatriz and Daniel Servando; son of the late Servando Chavez Quezada and Armonia Fernandez Rodriquez; brother of the late Arminda Chavez and Cristina (Francisco) Benitez. Thank you for sharing Roberto with us; his dedication, smile and humor were welcome around our warehouses and his spirit will live on in our work.

April '16 Newsletter

April newsOur spring collection season started out strong with the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek collecting 539 bikes in one event! This newsletter also brings an update from our education project in the Philippines. Read more here.

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Bikes To Honor James McMullen

RLSAAArt students in the Philippines are now commuting to school on bike. Your old bikes are helping students get to school faster and in some cases allowing them to stay enrolled in school. This program with the Regional Lead School of the Arts in Angono (RLSAA) is the first school in the Bikes for Education project through Bikes for the Philippines on the main island group, Luzon, in the Philippines.

Operating a bike project in a country made up of thousands of small islands is a logistical challenge. There are three main island groups in the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. With our latest shipment to the Philippines your old bikes are now serving school districts in all three areas. Continue reading on how Bikes for the Philippines is making this happen...

Bikes for the World would like to acknowledge and thank supporter Betty Scott, who chose Bikes for the World as the beneficiary to honor her late husband James McMullen. McMullen died last May and when Betty found out about our work in the Philippines, where her husband worked in the Peace Corps, she knew this would be something he would want to support.

This container arrived last July and was named in honor of James McMullen. Students enrolled at RLSAA received bikes from this shipment. More bikes are being repaired now and delivered to about a dozen more schools in the Philippines. Generous donations in memory of McMullen will help fund the next two shipments to this program.

March '16 Newsletter

March 2016March Madness is upon us and we thought we'd have a little fun with it. Check out our special Bike Madness Bracket where we will track sources of bikes and create a little fun competition in the process.

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Community Minute

wamu logoIf you don't already, tune in this month to WAMU-FM (88.5 on the dial) and listen carefully for the "Community Minute", a regular public service offering of this local public radio station which highlights selected local non-profits in their own words. During February, the Community Minute features the melliferous voice of our director Keith Oberg summarizing the virtues of Bikes for the World. Or listen here.

February '16 Newsletter

february 2016In El Salvador our bikes are introducing students to another way of life. This edition looks at how bikes are helping schools teach solutions to issues from the center city to the rural west coast.

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Teaching To Thrive

CESTA Streets

In the fall of 2014, Bikes for the World visited El Salvador to evaluate the progress of bike beneficiary partner CESTA, the El Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology. In 2015, CESTA became one of our largest recipients of donated bikes for the year.

During our visit in 2014, we dropped into CESTA in San Marcos where they receive our bikes and train mechanics in the workshop. We also interviewed several interns, several key bike beneficiaries, and visited a couple schools to learn more about growing up in El Salvador.

Keep reading to find out more about our visit, the schools involved, and the change CESTA is making using your old bikes...

Read more:

January '16 Newsletter

January 2016Another great year at Bikes for the World in 2015, and we owe a great deal of thanks to YOU our donors, volunteers, and supporters for that success. Check out how YOU helped thousands of people around the world get a 'wheel ahead' in our year end review.

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2015 Accomplishments

Latino OutdoorsBikes for the World grew in quantity and quality in 2015. Numbers-wise, we expanded collections in the home Washington DC-Baltimore region. We also established satellite efforts in Pittsburgh, Charleston SC, and New York (Long Island), and shipped our first container from NY in October.

But we also focused on getting better at what we do. Improving the quality and value of bikes shipped, increasing the volume and value of spare parts included in each shipment, and obtaining good feedback from our partners were priorities.

We expanded our reach to four new partners, all in Africa: Morocco, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, and Cameroon. These new projects will help farmers produce and market more, health care workers to visit the sick and prevent illness, and students to attend school and study more.

Our bike collections, loading, and opportunities at our Northern Virginia warehouse brought families, friends, colleagues, and strangers together in service. By opening our doors to younger volunteers this year we enabled families to serve together, building strong relationships while making a global humanitarian and environmental impact.

Read more:

December '15 Newsletter

December 2015Mobilizing health care workers in rural Africa can be the difference between life and death for many poor Africans. In this edition we take a look at how your old bikes are delivering life saving information, care, and needed medications around the world.

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View past newsletters here.