For many people around the world, the bicycle is a life-changing form of transportation. Often, it can mean the difference between receiving an education, seeing a doctor and making a living – or not. This May, World Bicycle Relief celebrated Bike Month in conjunction with our #ThisisNotaBike campaign and our supporters responded with incredible and creative efforts. You showed us that together we have what it takes to help individuals overcome barriers of distance – barriers separating millions of people from education, healthcare, and economic opportunity.
Here are a just a few of the inspiring ways our supporters made a difference during Bike Month.
Hosted by Java’s Brewin near Philadelphia, the SRAM Factory East team came together for the second year in a row to raise $4,600 for The Power of Bicycles. The riders describe the domino effect of their ride, and they symbolize how many individuals coming together for a cause can result in a powerful impact.
Inspired by World Bicycle Relief’s efforts to provide livelihood to people through the power of a simple bicycle, Jenson USA matched every purchase of a Spot Brand bicycle with the donation of one bicycle to WBR during the month of May. For many in rural Africa, a bicycle provides an opportunity to get to work, build a business, attain health care and receive an education.
Rather than receiving gifts, cards or flowers, the only way Allison Houston wanted to celebrate her 50th birthday was to raise enough money to put 50 Buffalo Bicycles into the hands of 50 people, advancing their lives and their communities. With the support of her friends, family and colleagues, her milestone birthday had a maximum impact, providing life-changing transportation in the form of bicycles to communities in need.
The 2015 Team WBR Ambassadors Amy, Dave and Rob Thompson are an exceptional family enduring unique challenges. In 2008, Amy and Dave’s son Rob suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident. After five months in a hospital, Rob only wanted on thing: to go on a bike ride. Last year, the family cycling trio completed a 60-mile journey, truly showing the life-changing power that a set of wheels on a bicycle can bring.
Just as bike mechanics are the backbone of the bike industry in the U.S., field mechanics are the backbone of World Bicycle Relief’s efforts around the world. As part of WBR’s Field Mechanics Training program, trained mechanics receive a bicycle, a set of high-quality bicycle tools, a uniform and marketing materials. Funds raised by Mechanics for Mechanics will help to keep this program rolling.
Seventh grader Olivia Najarian of Dexter, Michigan put her passion and her creativity to work to empower young girls through mobility. Writing an award-winning essay on The Power of Bicycles and hosting a fundraiser through her Etsy shop, Olivia has kept busy telling everyone around her about the life-changing power of transportation.
To celebrate the warm weather and usher in the cycling season, Tim Holt hosted a Welcome to Spring party with the Chicago cycling community – the Tenspeed Hero Spring Party. Believing in how a bicycle can transform lives and communities, Tim wanted this event to create awareness for WBR’s mission. With the help of social media to promote his event, he was capable of raising over $1,200, equivalent to eight bicycles.
The Trans-Slyvania Epic race attracts some of the world’s top professional mountain bikers, including Payson McElveen. Payson used his ride as a platform to inspire individuals to donate to World Bicycle Relief, and he raised over $1,000 in 2014. This year, he and his team are doubling their goal, hoping to fund 14 Buffalo Bicycles.
Leading into the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Individual Time Trial, Evelyn “Evie” Stevens shared her plan to support our National Bike Month campaign #ThisIsNotABike, by contributing any winnings from the event to WBR. Then on May 15, Evie raced with all her heart and placed first in the event. Evie’s gift will empower students and communities for generations to come. We truly admire her passion and generous support.
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