Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Partnership with Working Bikes Cooperative

A couple of fine young gentlemen (Raul and Nick) from the Working Bikes Cooperative in Chicago visited the Bike Library this past week and collected some of our overflow bikes. The Iowa City Police Department and the folks at the Johnson County landfill had a couple of hundred bikes to donate as well. Because we lack storage this is another option for us to make excellent use of community donations.

Here’s some info on WBC that I pulled from their website:

The Working Bikes Cooperative is a not-for-profit tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization which diverts bicycles from the waste stream in Chicago by repairing them for sale and charity. Working Bikes is primarily volunteer-driven. Currently it receives no government or foundation money. All its operations are funded through the sale of bicycles at its storefront. Working Bikes uses that money to provide bicycles to charity organizations within Chicagoland and to ship bicycles to the Gulf Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Angola, Cuba, Guatemala, and Peru. In the countries to which Working Bikes ships, a bicycle can often mean the difference between work and unemployment. The bicycle is the primary means of vehicular transportation for the majority of the population and is used both for personal transportation and for carrying cargo. Due to wage differences, a bicycle worth $20 in Chicago can be worth the equivalent of $1,000 in Africa. Each year Working Bikes gives away over 5,000 bicycles locally and internationally. It distributes about 500 bicycles and wheelchairs in the Chicago area alone: to City programs, refugees and day camps. Local Partners include:
  • Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation
  • Blackstone Bicycle Works
  • Chicago Department of the Environment Greencorps
  • City of Chicago After School Matters
  • Heartland Alliance Refugee Center
  • Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture
  • Mayor Daley’s Bicycling Ambassadors
  • Mercy Housing in Chicago’s Austin Neighborhood
  • Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR)
  • The Resource Center
  • West Town Bikes
  • World Relief Chicago
National Partners include:
  • Biloxi - Hands On Gulf Coast
  • New Orleans - Common Ground, Plan B & RUBARB
International Partners include:
  • Angolia - Share Circle
  • Cuba - Saint Augustine-Baracoa Friendship Association
  • Ghana - Patriensa
  • Ghana - Village Bicycle Project
  • Guatamala - Maya Pedal
  • Nicaragua - Peaceworks
  • Peru - Corprodeli
  • Tanzania - Global Alliance Africa
  • Zambia - Hands of Hope


zach kmiec said...

rock on! Plan-B in New Orleans received a huge shipment of bicycles from Working Bikes right after Hurricane Katrina, so many that some of them are still making their way into the work area from the storage lot. It's great to hear about bikes being given to them in turn. I'm sure they'll get good homes in due time. wayta go!

gpickle said...

The underground bike path, freeing bicycles from their shackles that they might ride free.