Recycle Your Bicycles

You know those old bicycles you’ve been hanging on to? You’ve kept them in the shed, or shimmy around them in the garage, believing there is a better fate for them than the curb…you just haven’t found it yet.  Well, your patience is about to be rewarded, Pedals 4 Progress is coming to Westchester. 

Founded in 1991 by David Schweidenback, a former Peace Corps worker, P4P collects your unwanted rust-free bicycles-and sewing machines-and ships them to non-profit organizations in developing countries like Guatemala, Ghana and Nicaragua.

In turn, these partners refurbish, then sell the bicycles at a very low cost, so even those most in need can afford them. Funds raised go towards subsidizing future deliveries and community improvements. Additionally, local jobs are also created, roughly 10 jobs for each shipment of 400 bicycles.

Over 125,000 bicycles  have been shipped to 28 countries, providing families in need a cheap, reliable and environmentally sound way to get around, and helps them start to build a sounder financial footing.

Two drives are being sponsored in our area this month: On Saturday May 22 from 9am to noon, Westchester Cycling Club, partnering with Trinity Lutheran Church is holding a drive in the church parking lot on Route 6 in Brewster-click here information P4PFlyer2010-v1.  On Sunday, May 23 from 1-4pm, Rotary district # 7230 is sponsoring a drive at White Plains HS, entrance off Bryant Ave-click here for information Pedals4Progress poster

This will actually be the fifth drive  Westchester Cycling Club has sponsored. According to club President David Mackay WiIlson, the four previous drives have netted over 1000 bikes, and 60 sewing machines. This year’s drive has already gotten off to a good start, thanks in part to JP McHale Pest Management of Buchanan, who donated 10 new bicycles they purchased from Down Cycle in Croton, as part of a team-building day for their 100+ employees.

This will be the first drive in this area for the Rotary Club. It was introduced as a service project by Karl Milde, the District Govenor, and will be run by about a dozen Rotarians, as well as members of WPHS Interact Club, Rotary International’s service clubs for young adults 12-18. According to Tina Mancuso, a member of the WP Rotary chapter, P4P has provided support and training, and told them to expect anywhere from 80 to 100 bikes.

To help defray the cost of transporting these bikes overseas, a $10.00 donation is required for each bike or sewing machine you donate; both are tax-deductible. You don’t need an appointment, you just need to show up during the drive hours. Bicycles of any size(no tricycles)as long as they are rust-free-and working sewing machines- will be accepted. For any questions, or if you would like to donate but can’t make the drive, please contact the organizer for each event directly, their contact info is on each flier.

I love that there are so many painless ways to easily help our fellow citizens, and get some good karma going. BRAVO P4P, and those who do this work!!