How It All Began
When John and I (Amberyl) first met, I was a fine arts student at UBCO. I knew that I wanted to be an artist, however I was struggling with all the bills that come with being a university student. I was considering whether I could afford to continue my studies. Then John showed me a skill that sparked the seed of change for the rest of my future...he taught me how to build and fix pedal bikes. And the ball was set into motion! Pedals, turned to mopeds, to motorcycles, to small engine mechanics, and even up to automobiles. I was hooked. I could rebuild and preserve bikes on my own now, nothing could give me satisfaction like seeing a happy person riding away on a lovely, retro ride.
Meeting the Not-for-Profit
We were cruising down the road, not far from our house one day, when we saw a sign talking about collecting bikes to send to Africa out front of the St. Charles Garnier church on Benvoulin. Intrigued, we decided to investigate. After meeting the chairman and delightful crew we knew we wanted to give our skills back to the community.
What they Do
There are many great programs that this not-for-profit society is heading off. First, every year, 2 or more sea cans are shipped right from our beautiful home in the Okanagan to Ghana, Africa. Some of the containers are stacked to the roof with frames, tires, tubes, parts, and accessories. Others are full of outdated hospital beds, wheelchairs, devices, and medical supplies. Every year, a few silent auctions of 100% donated items is held to help raise the funds for these large shipments.
In Ghana, there are stations where the boxes are delivered and people can come, get trained on how to do routine maintenance and repair. Once they have completed the seminar and given a small payment of whatever they can afford, they are riding away! Not only is it an incentive program and repair training facility, it is a place where anyone can feel safe, get wheels, and see happy faces and hope. A 2-day walk may now be only a 4 hour pedal.
Giving Back to Our Community
Not only does this society give to people abroad, it has many local community-based events. Twice a year there is a huge children's bike donation day. Anyone can come, with as many kids as they want, and for a small amount leave all suited up with rides. This is a superbe event as a lot of people cannot afford the 100+ dollar cost of outfitting their little ones every year. It is promoting global and local change.
We Love Bicycles for Humanity
"Your clean-up-cycling specialists!"