Holiday bicycle donations reach those in need across America

World Bicycle Relief and others remind us that bikes are so much more than a toy

Christmas is around the corner and many charitable organizations are working hard to deliver bicycles to both children and those who are less fortunate.

World Bicycle Relief is well-known for its dedication to bicycle donations, distributing some 17,000 bicycles this year and a total of 75,000 since it was founded in 2005. The organization encourages others to give the gift of a bicycle to impoverished people on both an international and national level.

“The power of bicycle is known throughout the world,” said Rebecca Much of World Bicycle Relief. “Bicycle Drives are a fantastic initiative to provide bicycles to the people in America who could not access a bicycle otherwise.”

Community Cycling Center hosted its 15th annual Holiday Bike Drive on December 12 at the Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Hundreds of bicycles and helmets were donated to children and families followed by a helmet fit, bicycle mechanics class and a bicycle safety skills test. Brian Benson, Volunteer and Outreach Manager at the Community Cycling Center explained that bikes aren’t just toys.

“Bicycles aren’t limited to recreational uses,” said Benson. “A bicycle can be a means to outdoor activities, sustainable transportation, independence and self-reliance. In a nutshell, we believe a bicycle can be much more than a toy.”

“From volunteers, participants and supporters alike, the unanimous response has been that the 15th annual Holiday Bike Drive was the best ever,” he added. “It was an unbelievably smooth affair, which means a well-supported experience for families and a rewarding day for volunteers.”

Community Cycles recently held its fifth annual Kids Holiday Bike Give-away on December 19 in Boulder, Colorado. The non-profit cycling advocacy group gave away 300 refurbished bicycles that were donated by community members over the course of one year.

Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, founded by seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, hosted the 14th annual JB & Sandy Bikes for Kids Giveaway on December 17 in Austin, Texas. More than 750 Trek bicycles, locks and helmets were assembled and donated to children based on need or merit.

“This event provides kids that special experience of receiving a brand new bike that, otherwise, probably would be possible,” said Mellow Johnny’s manager Craig Staley in a press release. “If we can have a small hand in providing that experience, we are ecstatic to make it happen.”

Donations, not just for the holidays

In Texas, Elves & More is one organization focused on giving away bicycles to high risk children in the Greater Houston area where 330,000 kids struggle in poverty. Its mission is to change lives one bike at a time and so far it has delivered more than 115,000 bicycles. In this program, every bicycle is used as an incentive for a child to stay in school, behave in class, achieve better grades and attend weekend tutorials.

The Hub of Detroit wrapped up its Holiday Bike Drive and Giveaway with three sessions held on December 12, 16 and 19 in Detroit, Michigan. Volunteers repaired bikes with 20” wheels or smaller to give to young children in need.

Times Up! is a New York City-based environmental and cycling advocacy organization that accepts adult bicycle donations year-round at its Brooklyn location.  

Bicycle donations are accepted year-round at most organizations and given to children in need at a designated time each year, so despite the date it’s never too late to gift a bike or make a donation.

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