Once again, the New York Chapter of Bikes for the World is teaming up with Port Fest on Saturday, May 13 on the Shreiber Campus (11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) as a collection point for your used bicycles. Bikes for the World’s mission is to distribute used bicycles to Africa, Asia and Central America to transform lives by providing sustainable and affordable transportation to school, jobs, marketplace and healthcare.
Bikes For The World (BFW) has distributed over 122,280 bikes to date. This time they are again collaborating with The Wheatley Afri-Bike Coalition (WABC) from The Wheatley School who has sent over 3,000 bikes since 1999.
Adult mountain bikes and one-speed cruisers are preferred, but bikes of any kind for any age and most any condition will be accepted. Flat tires and missing parts are not a problem. Tools, bike parts, bike manuals and books, locks, chains, helmets, mirrors, pumps and other accessories are also welcome. In addition, good quality metal portable sewing machines in working order or close to it add value to the shipment and provide productive assets for people willing to help themselves.
Along with the bikes, parts, and sewing machines, monetary contributions are accepted as well.
“It takes about $25 to get our bikes to local bike based businesses and workshop leaders in far off developing nations,” explained NY BFW Organizer Kenny Marx, “so we usually ask anyone who donates a bike to also consider giving at least a $10 bill to help defray these costs.”
Steve Finkelstein, Wheatley science teacher and faculty advisor for the Wheatley Environmental Action Committee and WABC, actually traveled to Ghana to deliver their first shipment in 2000. He saw first-hand the power of a bicycle.
“I recall seeing a barefoot woman with a baby strapped to her back carry 30 pounds of coconuts in a giant bowl perched on top of her head for 7 miles, from Kopeyia Ghana, over the border into Togo, to make a couple of dollars,” said Finkelstein. “Returning on a bus would eat up all her profit, so she walks back the next day, in time to fix dinner for her husband. Give a woman like this a bicycle with baskets and a child seat and you transform the lives of her entire family forever.”
He continued, “As a teacher, it hurt to see kids who couldn’t afford twenty cents a day to take a bus to school so they continue the cycle of poverty and illiteracy.These bikes are not just a hand out; they are a key to helping people to help pull themselves out of poverty.”
This collection also marks a new and important initiative. As soon as NY BFW and WABC can raise $4,000, a shipping container will be purchased to stay permanently at The Wheatley School, thus increasing collections, simplifying storage and decreasing costs.
The donation of your bike is fully tax deductible for the value of your used bike.
Tax deductible donations can be sent as checks, payable to The Wheatley EAC/ABC, mailed to: The Wheatley School, 11 Bacon Road, Old Westbury, NY 11568, Attn: Steve Finkelstein.
Clear out your garage and help change lives, one bike at a time. For additional information or questions please contact Kenny Marx at KennyMarxbikes@gmail.com.