Imagine a way for teenage kids living in low-to-middle income areas to receive job training, limit the number of bikes going to the landfill, and give back to their community with viable transportation options. What may sound like a fantasy to some is a reality with DreamBikes.
What is DreamBikes? It’s a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization founded in 2008, partnered with Trek, that creates stores with used bicycles in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.
The idea powering DreamBikes is simple: refurbish used bikes that would otherwise go to the landfill, provide opportunities for teens in the process and make them available to the community at low-cost for those who need them most for transportation or a new perspective on their surroundings.
Training for the future
To get it all going, DreamBikes partners with local youth organizations. The teens learn various skills: wrenching on bicycles, using point-of-sale software and delivering great customer service.
Going above and beyond the professional opportunities, DreamBikes works with its employees who wish to pursue more education with scholarships for college or further mechanical training. The scholarship program began as a memorial to Andrew Meyers, an engineer at Trek Bicycle who tragically passed away in 2013. His family and others have supported 20 DreamBikes employees in continuing their education.
- Jobs provided: 194
- Bikes returned to the community: 15,000
- Bikes repaired via mobile repair: 1,200
- Scholarships awarded: Mechanical – 7; Educational – 13
- 100% of DreamBikes’ inventory is donated by individuals and organizations
DreamBikes has recently expanded with four new stores in northern Madison, WI; Calumet City, IL; Knoxville, TN; and Rochester, NY. They join the existing DreamBikes stores in Madison, WI and Milwaukee, WI.