Can your bike do this?

If you DONATE it, it can!

Oh sure, you may have lots of happy memories of that bike that is covered in cobwebs in your garage. But instead of holding on to the past, kiss those spokes goodbye and send your bike out in the world to become a vehicle of change.

Wheelchair bike

Bikes for the World needs your donated bike, and believe me, they’ll make better use of it than you can imagine. Since 2005, they’ve shipped 40,000 bikes to 15 non-profit organizations in 11 developing countries for people who desperately need affordable transportation to get to work or school, or to provide health and education services to others.

Bikes for the World is the brainchild of Keith Oberg, a cycling nut since grad school, who worked in overseas development for years and connected with the small international nonprofits and foundations that BfW partners with today.

Vendor bike

Keith is not interested in simply giving bikes away, although he’s built the largest bicycle reuse program in the country that ships about 10,000 bikes each year to the developing world. Instead, he sees the possibility of systemic change in these wheels of fortune – encouraging Americans to recycle, do community service and help others overseas, and empowering the poor to earn more, learn more, and lead more healthy, productive lives.

Everybody's got a need for speed.

The journey begins with a local collection held by churches, scouts, rotaries, or YOU, promoted by Bikes for the World. (You can find lots of info on donating on the website.) Every person who brings in a bike is also asked to donate $10 for its shipping, storage, reconditioning and parts – which helps keep the quality of donated bikes high. Volunteers then make the bikes skinny (pedals off, handlebars torqued) and BfW takes them to storage until they can be shipped abroad to reputable charity organizations on the ground in countries from Ghana to Honduras, Gambia to Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan to Barbados. The overseas charities will then distribute or sell the bikes at cost, often on credit, to low-income people who use them in a multiplicity of useful ways.

Smart girls get to ride to school in style!

Your bike might go to a child who has to walk miles to school– and has earned the right to a bike by getting really good grades. That can keep students, especially girls, in school and teach a powerful lesson about the rewards of studying hard. Your bike might go to a carpenter who can use a bike to carry his tools, reach more customers, and triple his productivity. That helps him support his family, send his kids to school, and grow the economy. Even repairing and maintaining your bike might create another job for someone in need.

Got wheels, will go far..

Who knew your bike could go so far in life? To donate a bike, click here. (Collections are held mostly from North Carolina to New York, but there are other options.) Unfortunately I’m in Atlanta, so I can’t give my bike away, although I’m dying to because if I don’t have a bike, my husband can’t invite me on one of his long, excruciating treks. But you can always donate cash —click here!

66 thoughts on “Can your bike do this?

  1. kahve tamper, ıslak mendil makinası, tamper, makina, teksan, teksan makina, teksanmakina.net, özel tasarım makina, özel makina, bot şişirme pompası, pnömatik ayna, makina üretimi, makina imalatı, ıslak mendi makinası üretimi

    thans for great sharing

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  3. It always amazes me what people think to do of next on their bikes. It seems as though there is no end to how people maximize their bikes potential. I wonder where they learned it from?

  4. it never seizes to amaze me all the different ways that a bike can be used to create a positive change in people lives and the community as a whole. I first experienced the true potential of bikes while staying in Egypt, the creativity was mind blowing.

    Nice post, i love hearing about great causes such as bikes for the world.

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  6. Bikes are amazing; I don’t know why we take our bikes for granted so much. Great idea and a interesting post. I’d give mine away but I use mine.

  7. Less is more better. People with less smile more. They appreciate life. People in the United States need things–more things–the things. We can’t live without…this…that. We do not choose where we are born. I love living in the United States, but the things…..the things

    Thank you for showing me beautiful people with smiles on their faces. I know Haitians suffer and many others in third world countries and in the United States. Do notice how they smile anyway?
    Not the people in the United States.

    Disaster hits us. Our family and the dog, the cat, and bird survive. Yet we stand outside, most with insurance, crying about the things….the pictures, the things. It is not our fault. This is the home of the brave and the slave—in more ways than one. Is it our fault? Indoctrinated.
    I like the things. I certainly don’t have many things but I do have too many. Every day I say thank you when I use the shower, drink water, but I get mad when the adapter falls out of my lap. Isn’t that sad?
    No electricity. The average person does not own a back-up generator. Oh! It fell out again. Dang it!

  8. Wow, what an amazing story. I didn’t know an organization like this one exist until today. This is probably one of the best charity work I’ve ever seen. Donating your bike to people around the globe would do a whole lot of good for people in third world countries and the environment. I was so amazed by how much it has been able to help people and children who have to walk long distances and help them with their daily work. Bikes are more efficient than automobiles in that they don’t require gasoline, especially for people who can’t afford to buy gasoline and keep up with car maintance. Bikes are not just useful for people to get around, they’re also good for the environment. Bikes don’t use gasoline and so they don’t cause any pollution which is a difinite plus to all of us. I really like this article. It made me think of how simple little things we can do that can benefit and do a whole lot of good. I won’t hestitate to donate my bike if I had one I didn’t use. I think we should have collection sites across the country because people will want to donate and outcomes will be better.

  9. I remember an old man near us who rides a bicycle but he has no feet. He just sits on that iron box attached then turn the pedal with his hand and maneuvers on the other hand. If I had a picture, you would be scared and feel pity too.

  10. ChueH.
    Wow, what an amazing story. I could never even imagine that such organization like this exists but thank goodness it does. This is probably one of the best charity work I’ve ever seen. Donating your bike to people around the globe would do a whole lot of good for people in third world countries and the environment. I was so amazed by how much it has been able to help people and children who have to walk long distances and help them with their daily work. Bikes are more efficient than automobiles because they don’t require gasoline, especially for people who can’t afford to buy gasoline and keep up with car maintance. Bikes are not just useful for people to get around, they’re also good for the environment. Bikes don’t use gasoline; so they don’t cause any pollution to the evironment, a definite plus to all of us. I think we should have more collection sites across the nation because people will donate more bikes and there’ll be better outcome. This article was amazing and I’m glad to learn about it.

  11. This is a great idea and there are many orginizations around the country that do this, just do a little research in your area. Here is chicago we have Working Bikes who have a similar mission. Just imagine if all of the bikes sitting in garages and basements all over America were put to good use around the world!!

  12. I miss my bike. Biking in my country -especially in town- is quite complicated (if I can’t say impossible), so I don’t have any bike now. But I miss biking in the fresh morning day. Wish someday soon, I can do it again. Good thought. Glad to find it in wordpress’ freshly pressed.

  13. I think this is a fantastic cause. If I still had my bike I’d be passing it straight on through.

    I’ve always been amazed at those photos of bikes carrying, what seems to be, impossible loads.

  14. What a wonderful program! My parents have my old Schwinn from my childhood sitting in their garage. I am totally going to snatch it from them to donate it to this charity for sure. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  15. Congrats and love for all you do. Your posts are amazing, Betty. I look forward to opening your story each day.

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  18. What a great idea. Your pictures help depict the uses and how the bikes could benefit others throughout the world. We don’t always think of our bikes as transportation or a means for making a living as they do in other countries.

    Thanks for the information and post!

  19. This is a wonderful initiative.

    You have to travel to the rural parts of the world to see what a bicycle can really do or what a bicycle and be used to do.

    They are lovely pics. If possible, I will share a few pice which I plan to take in the next few days (inspired by the blog ofcourse).

  20. Your blog was one of the featured ones when I went into WordPress to post a new blog entry on my blog Confessions of a Startled Fat Woman. The header caught my attention (Can Your Bike Do This?) because I was posting about an organized bike ride my husband and took. I subscribed in my Google Reader and I will be back. I want to read more about how I can help with bikes. I like bikes. I think bikes change lives.

    Thanks!

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