100,000 Bikes Donated

100k loadBfW has donated over 100,000 bikes changing lives around the world. The importance of recycling and the impact of the bicycle were the focus on November 15, 2014, when we loaded our 100k bike into the container destined for Costa Rica as part of America Recycles Day.

America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. It's an initiative of Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and we were honored to have representative from both KAB and the US EPA on hand during this monumental loading.

The container loading began on Thursday and ended with a celebration and the actual loading of the 100k bike on Saturday November 15, 2014. Valued volunteers and corporate partners took part in this three day event. Events included a bike ride in DC, a presentation by the director of FINCA Costa Rica, where the container is heading, recognizing our Volunteer of the Year, and donations of bikes to four organizations.

BfW in San JoseBfW in San JoseOn Wednesday November 12, Bikes for the World welcomed the director of FINCA Costa Rica Luis Jimenez to DC. In September BfW staff members traveled to Costa Rica to visit FINCA Costa Rica and meet our bike beneficiaries. Luis met us there and took us to visit several community groups where our bikes were donated.

Since our 100k bike is heading to Costa Rica we brought Luis here to be part of the loading. He also gave a great talk on his program and how our donated bikes benefit people in Costa Rica. This was all made possible thanks to travel vouchers awarded to Bikes for the World from JetBlue.

Luis Jimenez in DCRich Robinson, Taylor Jones, and Luis JimenezOn Thursday, staff and board members took Luis on a chilly bike tour of DC. The ride started and ended at the warehouse in Pentagon City. When we returned in the afternoon, eager volunteers were already at the warehouse excited to start working on this momentous loading. We jumped right in, with Luis guiding us in what they needed most.

It was educating to have a director of our partner on hand for the actual loading for live feedback on how we pack and what we send. Volunteers, working side by side with Luis, were also able to learn, first hand, more about how their efforts were making a difference.

JetBlue CrewJetBlue CrewThe warehouse was abuzz with volunteers and activity. We were joined by veteran volunteers who have been working with Bikes for the World since our founding in 2005, as newbies, who have just joined us this fall. JetBlue employee and long-time BfW champion Phil Loar organized a JetBlue crew to assist prepping bikes and loading the container. Phil recommended us for those travel vouchers, so they were all excited to see those vouchers in action.

Everyone took turns posing with the 100k bike and left messages for our director, Keith Oberg in our 10-year photo book. At the end of the night, over half the container was already packed with beach cruisers, mountain bikes, tons of kids bikes for Christmas, and half a dozen sewing machines.

Picking right back up on Friday, we jumped into the loading early when a group from City Year, whose corporate sponsor is Microsoft, dropped by the warehouse to lend a hand. They prepped a few bikes that would be donated later that day and tomorrow to three local organizations in addition to our Costa Rican partner. They also helped us prep the warehouse for the big 100k event the following day.

Local bike donationWaldorf KiwanisMidday, Gearin' Up Bicycles, which operates an earn-a-bike program in DC, dropped by to pick up a few donated bikes from us. They shared with us news of their new location just off the Metropolitan Branch Trail and briefed us on some upcoming events including an earn-a-bike program being operated at Capital City Charter School where a few of our donated bikes will be utilized. We also donated a truckload of bikes to Thankful Heart in Pikeville KY through BfW partner Waldorf Kiwanis. Those bikes will be given to disadvantaged youths for Christmas.

Friday evening, a group gathered at the Microsoft store in Fashion Centre at Pentagon City for a brief update from BfW and a presentation by Luis explaining how FINCA Costa Rica works and how the bikes in the project are changing lives in rural Costa Rica. Read more about that presentation.

100k Event100,000th bike donatedSaturday November 15, everyone gathered at the warehouse in Pentagon City for the big event. Most of the container had already been packed the previous two days so our focus was on processing and socializing. Regular BfW volunteer group, MeetUp NOVA were busy at work prepping more bikes for shipping as everyone arrived. FOX5 interviewed Luis and Keith and captured the 100k loading for their newscast.

We also had a special visit from the local bike group, Phoenix Bikes.  They biked over a donation of tires for our shipment. We loaded up their truck with a couple dozen road bikes they will refurbish for an upcoming bike sale at Big Bear Cafe.

Bikes for the World also recognized Jim Mitchell as the volunteer of the year for his effort and support. Jim has helped collect over 1,000 bikes through his church in Eldersburg MD. He has also been instrumental in supporting the Rockville Youth Bike Project, which operated at our previous King Farm facility during the last seven years. Jim continues to help transport bikes collected by bike shop partners and individuals from the Baltimore region of Maryland.

100k volunteersPhil Ruth, Brendy Pulley, Luis JimenezKeep America Beautiful and US EPA had representatives with us to celebrate America Recycles Day in a big way on a big day.  America Recycles Day is a 'recycling celebration' that is recognized nationally and generates a huge amount of buzz over recycling...not to mention a huge pile of recyclables...somewhere in the vicinity of 3.7 million pounds. Since our founding in 2005, Bikes for the World estimates that we have collected and reused over three million pounds of steel and aluminum, half a million tubes and tires, and likely 4.5 billion spokes.

The number of lives affected is well over a half million. Here in the United States, in our 10 years of operation, we have donated 100,089 bikes collected in over 1,000 drives. We partner with faith communities, schools, recycling facilities, bikes shops, corporations, and tons of individual volunteers and supporters. We've provided rewarding community service projects for over 13,505 volunteers putting in over 54,990 volunteer hours. Those volunteers have loaded 208 40' shipping containers donated to 22 international partners in 20 countries. Volunteers at our collections and in the warehouse have removed approximately 205,000 pedals! Among those 100,089 bikes,  BfW has donated 3,754 bikes to local organizations in the United States.

Harriet

Overseas, each bike donated benefits 4 people, from the families it transforms to the jobs created. Travel by bike is 4 times faster than walking and allows you to travel 4 times as far in the same amount of time. Individuals using bikes for errands or work are able to carry 4 times as many goods. Our bikes are helping students stay in school, learn more, and graduate. Bikes for the World builds businesses by supporting training programs, supplying bike shops with bikes and parts, contributing to micro-finance programs, and transporting workers further and faster to their jobs. In healthcare, our bikes help transport patients, healthcare professionals, and information greater distances and in a shorter amount of time.

To everyone who contributed to our 100k event, thank you. Bikes for the World would also like to thank and recognize the following corporate businesses for their efforts:

  • DICK'S Sporting Goods for supplying over 15% of the 100,000 bike donated through Bikes for the World. These bikes were collected nationwide during an annual trade-in trade-up promotion. DICK'S staff partially processes the bikes, loads them onto trucks, and transports them from across the United States to our warehouse in Arlington VA.
  • Vornado/Charles E. Smith for allowing us to use the warehouse space we are currently in as well as previous warehouse space that spans the lifetime of BfW. Our relationship with Vornado goes back to Waterside Mall, our warehouse from January 2005 - October 2006.

    Our current warehouse has allowed us to store more bikes, allowing us to increase the value of our shipments by being more selective regarding the type of bikes and parts we send to one partner and what we are able to store for another. The convenient and Metro accessible location of our warehouse has also facilitated partnerships with more community groups and individuals looking to participate in service loading projects.
  • Special thanks to JetBlue and Microsoft for helping with the container loading for Costa Rica and for helping us bring Luis Jimenez to DC to better explain FINCA Costa Rica.

DICK'S Sporting GoodsVornadojetBlue-LogoMicrosoft

 

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