Description & History
Working Bikes collects thousands of donated and discarded bicycles annually. The vast majority of these fulfill our primary mission of sending bicycles to developing countries that face extreme issues of poverty, unemployment, and lack of reliable transportation. We partner with nongovernmental organizations in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean who receive the bicycles as raw materials. They employ individuals in-country to fix and redistribute the bicycles, which then enable community members to attend school, find employment or receive medical attention. We also donate bicycles locally to refugee resettlement and homeless transition programs so that their clients can access necessary services and find employment.
Our work holds strongly to concepts of environmental conservation. In addition to preventing bicycles from becoming waste at landfills, we promote cycling as a way to reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, we are one of the few organizations promoting appropriate technology (technology that is designed with special consideration to the environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economical aspects of the community for which it is intended). We build and display bike machines in our shop as well as at green energy fairs and other environmental events.
The way that we are able to continue to do all of this great work, is through the operation of our used bicycle store. Working Bikes refurbishes a small portion of the bicycles that we receive to be sold locally. In addition to bicycles, we also sell a tremendous assortment of bicycle parts and accessories. In this way, individuals are also empowered to maintain working, safe bicycles of their own. The revenue generated from these sales is the sole source of financial support for all of the charitable work that Working Bikes carries out. In this way, we have been able to operate for over a decade as a completely self-sustaining organization.