This is our busiest week of the year typically, and this year was no different. We had a very successful bike drive at Bay Hay & Feed on June 25th and collected 38 bikes. A special ‘Thank You’ goes out to Howard and Els at Bay Hay for their continued support for the project.
The following Saturday, July 2nd, featured that Island extravaganza called the Rotary Auction. That event where thousands upon thousands of people stampede Woodward school to buy the things their neighbors donated. Over $500,000 will be raised in 6 hours. While the donated bikes were virtually all sold during the auction I managed to get a few parts bikes, along with lots of tires and rims.
Donate a bike, change a life!
Bicycles for Humanity is a grassroots organization that collects bicycles, puts them in large shipping containers, and then ships them to an impoverished location. Bicycles for Humanity, Seattle (B4HS) is dedicated to shipping thousands of bicycles to South Africa every year to help poor and impoverished villagers improve their lives with transportation. We're changing lives, two wheels at a time!
What's the problem?
The KwaZulu-Natal region in South Africa is an area with 10.6 million residents, 50% unemployment, and 39% of the pregnant women are HIV positive. These problems are almost inconceivable to us in the West, but they are the way of life in South Africa.
What are the benefits of this program?
Here are just some of the benefits:
The shipping container becomes a new bicycle shop and local people are trained on how to maintain the bikes, thereby creating a new business that provides long term help for the economy. Delivery businesses, tourism ventures or spin-off projects making trailers, racks, and other add-ons will also occur, providing further stimulus for the economy.
Children can start attending school. Many parents won’t allow children to attend school since they have to walk 5 miles a day to and from school and this takes too much time, so chores don’t get done. Or they arrive too tired to learn.
The high incidence of HIV has caused the orphan population to literally explode, so the donated bicycles can help South African children travel miles to school where a hot lunch—possibly the only full meal of the day—and an education await.
Medicine can be distributed to those in need. Medical couriers and care workers can visit many more patients with a bicycle and deliver that much needed HIV and malaria medicine. Bicycles have even been used as ambulances by attaching a trailer to them.
Water and firewood can be more easily transported from that distant source back home.
A visit to a doctor is now within reach.
Travel to a needed job is now possible. With about 50% unemployment, transportation to a job is critical.
Isn't it amazing what a bicycle can do?