Posts Tagged ‘Donating bikes’

The gift of a bicycle

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Kathleen Galligan/Detroit Free Press

Together, bicycles and the sense of freedom they provide make for great gifts.

In fact, President Barak Obama recently said “his all-time favorite gifts were a 10-speed bicycle… and a basketball.”

The Greater Grace Temple recently gave away 250 bicycles to children and the Free Press has some heartwarming coverage.

Earlier, parents and children heard Bishop Charles Ellis III, pastor of Greater Grace, conclude the service with memories of his first bike.

“Not everybody had their own bike, you know? We’d ride three and four on a bike. Remember that?” Ellis said, drawing laughter.

“A bike is so important to a child. … We thank God that, even in this bad economy, we’re able to bless others,” he said.

As noted in the article, the poor economy meant they were only able to giveaway 250 as opposed to the typical 500. Through the year, the church has given away a few thousands bicycles to Detroit children.

Greater Grace Temple is the same church was wrongly mocked a year ago by some bike advocacy web sites after they prayed for Detroiters’ survival.

When the N.Y. Times reported:

Bishop Ellis encouraged the congregation to pray, not that Congress would ‘do the right thing’ and approve loaning money to the car companies, but that Detroiters would ‘make it’ through these tough times.

Sites like Copenhagenize then said they were “Praying that the Big Three carmakers will get their money from Washington.” That was apparently the story they wanted to tell.

And unfortunately they probably won’t cover this church’s bicycle giveaway program.

Donating used bikes in Oakland County

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

From the Free Press:

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Re-CYCLE for Kids Program is accepting donations of new, used or in-need-of-repair bicycles, bike accessories and parts.

The program, sponsored by the Sheriff’s Office and started in 2006, refurbishes bikes using inmate labor and then makes them available to children and adults in need through local charitable organizations.

Bicycles can be donated at any of the following sites:

Greater Grace Temple’s ‘Bicycle Christmas’ Giveway

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

The New York Times recently ran an article on Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple (“Detroit Churches Pray for ‘God’s Bailout’”.)

Greater Grace, the largest church in Detroit, invited officials from the United Automobile Workers union to speak before Bishop Ellis gave his sermon, titled “A Hybrid Hope.”

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we need prayer,” he said. “When it’s all said and done, we’re all in this thing together.”

Bishop Ellis encouraged the congregation to pray, not that Congress would “do the right thing” and approve loaning money to the car companies, but that Detroiters would “make it” through these tough times.

Some bike blogs (here and here) picked up the article, apparently didn’t read it all that well, and wrote that the Church was praying for the Senate bailout.  Or maybe that just made a better story for them.  Piling on Detroit easy these days irregardless of the facts.

Bicycle Christmas

But on a more positive note, Greater Grace Temple has been a major supporter of bicycling in Detroit through their Bicycle Christmas program.

“For many people, one of their fondest childhood memories was to receive a brand new bicycle on Christmas morning,” says GGT’s Senior Pastor Bishop Charles H. Ellis III. “We want to do something to help those youngsters whose families who are hit hard by this economy and could face having little or nothing under the tree on Christmas Day.”

The church will be giving away 250 brand new bicycles to children from financially struggling families on Sunday, December 21, 2008. The giveaway will begin after the 10:00 a.m. service (approx. 12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.). The church partnered with Meijer Stores and Sinai Grace Hospital to make the giveaway possible. Donations also came from church members.

Greater Grace Temple has given away more than 2,800 bikes to financially struggling families over the last 5 years.

Wow!  What a great program and a great cause.

If you are interested in helping or supporting this program, please contact the Greater Grace Temple.

Governor Celebrates Detroit Bicycle Volunteers

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

From the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health, and Sports:

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm celebrates volunteers committed to promoting bicycling in the communities of Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing

The Hub/Back Alley Bikes in Detroit, The Motion Initiative in Grand Rapids, and MSU Bikes and Share a Bike in Lansing will host a Day of Action event on Saturday, September 27 from noon to 4 PM to encourage the donation of bikes and bike parts. The events, depending on location, will also offer free maintenance checks, bike safety training and other services and activities.

These organizations work tirelessly to collect, repair and distribute bikes in their communities. Participating residents can support their efforts, donate bikes, and learn more about biking and bike maintenance.

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Here are some of the details for The Hub’s Saturday event:

  • Clean out your garage and donate a bike or bike parts
  • Donated bikes will go through safety checks and repairs, then be distributed to Detroit youth
  • Bring in your own bike for safety repairs including fixing flat tires, chains or brakes
  • Participate in on-bike safety activities to learn proper use of:
    • Hand signals
    • Helmets
    • Lights
    • Locks
  • Put your training to the test with a group ride at 3 PM

Contact Jake VanDyke at 313.879.5073 for further details

Donating your bike in Metro Detroit

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Unlike car dealerships, most bike shops don’t take in used bikes towards a new one.

Those with nice bikes in good working condition often sell them at swap meets, in on-line classified ads, or on eBay. For older, used bikes, you’re usually better off donating it to a friend or a group.

A recent Back Alley Bikes/Trips for Kids Detroit rideBack Alley Bikes

There are at least a couple good groups looking for bikes in the Metro Detroit area. The first is Back Alley Bikes. They offer programs where kids can refurbish a used bike by themselves then get to keep it. They also offer bicycle repair training for adults.

If you have a kids bike or anything with fat tires, this is a great place to donate it. They are also looking for bicycle parts, too.

Back Alley Bikes is located on Cass at Martin Luther King. The entrance is from the alley behind the building. Just look for the painted sign.

Re-CYCLE for Kids

The Oakland County Sheriff’s office has developed a program as noted in this Detroit Free Press article, Bike recycling gets a push in Wixom:

[Lighting Supply Co.’s Wixom store] is a drop-off location for the Oakland County Sheriff Office’s bike rehabilitation program, Sheriff’s Re-CYCLE for Kids. The program takes in bikes from donors and then has low-level offenders at Trusty Camp, a correctional facility, fix them up. The bikes then go to needy children.

Lighting Supply is the only private business in all of Oakland County that has volunteered to be a drop-off site for the 2-year-old program, according to the sheriff’s office. For volunteering to be a drop-off site, the company received a community award from the City of Wixom in late February.

The Lighting Supply Company has stores in Ferndale and Wixom.