Village Bicycle Cooperative’s big holiday donation
Village Bicycle Cooperative, located in the Community House in Bay Village, donated the biggest single one-time donation of reconditioned bicycles in its 8-year history. On Dec. 18, five VBC volunteers braved the winter cold and loaded 40 bicycles on a truck for donation to the Salvation Army from the VBC secondary storage location at BAYarts. Beth Milli, of BAYarts, was there to greet and launch the volunteers on their journey. The VBC volunteers were Susan Schneider, Eric Evanoff, Bob Piccirilli, Bill Abbott and Dave Kett.
The Salvation Army bike donations will serve two important purposes. Some of the bikes are gifts for needy children, bringing them joy during the holiday season. The rest are adult bikes, given to adult Salvation Army clients, that will be to used as transportation to their newfound places of work. In all cases, the bicycles were donated to those in real need who cannot afford them. VBC also included 50 bicycle helmets, acquired through a state grant, and 50 heavy duty bike locks, thanks to assistance from Fairview Cycle. To cap off the day, VBC volunteers assisted in unloading a toy truck delivering gifts for the kids of Salvation Army.
Most all of the bicycles that VBC re-purposes are donations from Bay Village and local community residents that will be reconditioned and made safe to ride. Half of the refurbished bikes are sold back to the public at a fair price. The rest are donated to charitable organizations or to individuals with special circumstances or needs, fulfilling the principal mission of VBC. Those bicycles that do not qualify for resale or donation are scrapped and recycled. The money raised from sales is used to keep the all-volunteer shop in operation. In 2019, VBC has donated 75 bicycles and anticipates donating even more in 2020.
Visit Village Bicycle Cooperative during open hours. Hours vary and are available to view on the website, www.villagebicycle.org. If you would like to volunteer at VBC and have mechanical skills and know how to work on bicycles, please let us know.