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News Volunteers

Spring 2020 News

GiveBIG for people and bikes

Every day we see new families and neighbors out riding – biking is a great way to stay healthy and get around during this stressful time. We have more faith than ever in the value of Sharing Wheels programs and services (like teaching people to lube those squeaky chains!). 
During this COVID pandemic, bike shops are considered “essential business.” Unfortunately, we basically had to close to the public for the past month while we figured out the best ways to keep our small shop, staff, customers, and volunteers safe. The good news is, the shop will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays again starting April 22 – with measures in place to maintain social distance and cleanliness.
The bad news is we estimate lost revenue of $6,000 to $10,000 from COVID 19. This includes shop sales and reduced grant and in-kind donations, since local business and bike club supporters have had their own coronavirus impacts.
We know many people and businesses are hurting during this time. But if you believe in our mission of “Keeping People and Bikes Moving” please consider donating to Sharing Wheels. 

Executive Director: Volunteers make our wheels go round and round …

By Christy Cowley, Executive Director

Life has certainly gone sideways these past few weeks with the COVD-19 outbreak.  Adjusting to our new norm has us all pausing and reflecting on our families, our friends, our health and our future.

At Sharing Wheels we are thinking a lot about how much our volunteers contribute to our organization. To date this year we’ve had 20 volunteers donate 460 hours, tracking well ahead of the same period last year. Eight of those 20 volunteers are brand new to Sharing Wheels!

In addition to refurbishing bikes, volunteers help us reorganize parts, price merchandise, remove trash and advise customers. We simply couldn’t exist without our volunteers!

Volunteering is limited due to social distance measures. Some regular volunteers are picking up bikes from the shop to repair at home. Others are helping to post bikes for sale online. Other jobs that can be done remotely include:

  • Data entry – such as keeping bike inventory updated
  • Graphic design – create posters and slides for our in-shop display
  • Marketing – help drum up customers.

If you’d like to learn more about volunteering now or in the future, contact me.

We are familiar with disruptions and have experience working through hiccups with limited resources. We also know from experience that expanding programs on stretched dollars works best when we all pull together. So please, stay well and when the at-home restrictions are lifted, stop by and consider joining the Sharing Wheels volunteer team.

 

Volunteer Profile: From books to bikes

Man with a clipboard organizing bike parts
Larry still likes to track and catalog things.

Larry likes bikes. He also likes the people he meets through Sharing Wheels. It’s a combination that has made the retired librarian an essential part of the shop since 2012. That’s the year Larry Williamson, of Edmonds, took a bike maintenance class from then-shop manager Kristi Knodell.  He’s been a constant presence in the shop ever since.

Technically, Larry is a volunteer. A SUPER volunteer. He is in the shop three full days a week, every other week (when he and his wife Jean aren’t babysitting their grandson).  He enjoys fellow volunteers, staff, and the diverse customers.

“People want simple things,” he says.  Like the guy who came in recently with a wrecked rear wheel and no money. “We got him back on the road,” Larry says with understated pride.

Larry always steps in whenever there is something that needs to be done in the shop, no matter how unglamorous the duty. He takes out the trash, sorts the recycling, and counts the tubes and tires for the kids bike programs. He’s helped manage both the Kids Bike Swap and the Christmas House projects for many years. “Families are very appreciative,” of the bikes that volunteers fix, he says.

Beyond bikes, Larry has also served on the Sharing Wheels Board and as a member of the Shop Operations Committee. “Larry’s experience in the shop and as a manager made him very valuable in those policy-making roles,” said Sharing Wheels Board President Kristin Kinnamon. “But the biggest quality he brings is generosity – of time, money, and especially of spirit. Larry really cares about our staff and the people we serve.”

Larry’s bike(s): Larry has one Sharing Wheels bike so far, a Specialized he keeps as a backup to his Marin San Rafael. “I need more bikes,” he says, eyeing the latest lightweight road bike on the Sharing Wheels sales floor.

Favorite rides: 7 Hills of Kirkland. Unlike many people, Larry prefers going up, not down.

Family bikers: One of Larry’s three daughters Jan also enjoys biking. They have done the Seattle to Portland and Kitsap Color Classic rides together, and other rides. His wife Jean doesn’t bike much, but contributes some wonderful homemade food to fuel Sharing Wheels volunteers.

Volunteer time in 2020: 18 days in the shop and 79 total hours.

Impact: A home for the homeless

John gives thumbs up to bike wrapped for shipping
John is always learning new things in the shop. This day it was how to wrap a bike for shipping.

“When I was on the streets, this was a safe place I could come.”

John was a heroin addict back then, but staff saw he was more than that. “When I came to the shop, I was looked at as a cyclist, never as a bum. I appreciated that.”

After getting clean, John worked his 8 hours of court-ordered service at the shop to start the year. He’s been a volunteer on his own time ever since. “I kinda just knew I wanted to be part of this place,” he said. Biking is a healthy habit John wants to take into his sobriety.

He appreciates the chance to learn more about bikes as a volunteer. “I’m really good at riding bikes. I just don’t know how to fix them yet,” he said.

John’s not the first volunteer to come in off the streets. Sharing Wheels has always been a refuge for homeless and low income people. One year a man living in a nearby hotel on a voucher happily spent Thursday nights working on kids bikes for Christmas House rather than sitting in his room alone. It was a win-win situation.

Volunteer time in 2020: 8 days in the shop and 34 total hours.

Woman signs in a bicycle
Sally helps out at a homeless outreach event.

Sally lived in a tent when she first started coming to Sharing Wheels. She would come in frequently because parts of her cheap bike were always breaking – again. If she didn’t have the few bucks to pay for the part, she’d do some Work for Wheels* volunteer time to give back to the shop – and stay out of the cold for awhile.

She wrapped her bike in foil to make it look ugly, but it got stolen anyway. Finally, the shop manager got her a better quality bike that could stand up to daily riding. Sally has since gotten a folding bike (better for buses and apartments), and is able to fix it herself thanks to the bike maintenance class she took at Sharing Wheels. An outgoing and friendly person who now has a job and stable housing, Sally still volunteers at outreach events – happy to share the impact of Sharing Wheels.

*Work for Wheels allows people to trade volunteer time so they can purchase needed parts or a bicycle.

Annual Report for 2019

Sharing Wheels accomplished a lot last year:

  • Took in more than 300 donated bikes
  • Adopted a new mission statement and strategic goals
  • Had 50 volunteers give more than 1,800 hours in the shop

Our full Annual Report includes many more numbers, including a budget summary.

Categories
News

2019 Annual Report

Committing to Our Mission

By Kristin Kinnamon, Board President

Every nonprofit should have a purpose, a problem you are trying to solve. Simply getting bikes is not the problem, for us or our customers. We had more than 300 bikes donated to us last year!

The problem is that bikes need maintenance and repairs. And people don’t have the tools or know-how to fix them. That’s the basis for our new mission statement:

 Keeping People and Bikes Moving – with E.A.S.E.

Sharing Wheels Mission

We spell out how we achieve our mission below. To keep focused on it, we hired our first (part-time) executive director at the end of the year. A new shop manager starts in January 2020. But the most important work of Sharing Wheels could not be done without our volunteers. 

We couldn’t repair all the bikes, help customers fix their own bikes, or make the impact that we do without dedicated volunteers giving us their time and talents. Volunteers keep bikes affordable, empower people with one-on-one mentoring, learn bike maintenance themselves, and make our nonprofit sustainable.  50 people gave 1,800 hours last year – equal to a full-time staff person.

Empowerment

Open Shop: The tools and bike stands at Sharing Wheels are available for anyone to use, no charge. Free advice is provided by Sharing Wheels staff or experienced volunteers. 4-10 people each week; 73% identify as low income.

Bike Lights: Low income customers who use their bikes for daily transportation can get free front and rear lights.  37 lights installed.

Affordability

Bike & Parts Sales: Sales of refurbished bikes and used parts are the main source of income for Sharing Wheels. We make sure to have bikes at all price points, so everyone can afford a decent ride. 250 bikes sold.

Work for Wheels: Customers without cash can volunteer time in the shop to earn the parts or bike they need to get around.  10 work-trade participants.

Sustainability

Kids Bikes: Volunteers fix used kids bikes each spring and fall for our Kids Bike Swap and Christmas House programs. We add the new parts and elbow grease needed to keep old bikes going for a new generation. 102 bikes went home with kids during our June Bike Swap. 108 bikes donated to Christmas House.

Bikes to Africa: Some bikes that would never sell still have value. We donate excess bicycles to the Village Bike Project and Vision 224. 111 bikes to Africa

Education

Repair Classes: We had only a few formal bike maintenance classes in 2019, but have recommitted to this important part of our mission in 2020.

Events: County Earth Day, Bike Everywhere Day, WSU Repair Cafes, Family Rides in Arlington and Marysville. Riverside Neighborhood National Night Out.

WorkSource Intern: We hosted a young man for 90 hours of job training.

2019 Budget

Adopted budget.

Revenue

Bike Sales$37,248
Parts Sales23,580
Donations$17,400
Grants$10,500
Classes$1,472
Total$96,200

 

 

Expenses

Salaries$55,002
Bike Parts$14,599
Rent$10,500
Insurance/Fees$6,650
Administrative$2,775
Other Shop$4,800
Total$94,236

Grants & In-Kind Support

  • Nysether Family Foundation – $6,500 grant 
  • BIKES Club of Snohomish County – $2,000 grant
  • Everett Port Gardner Rotary Club – $1,750 grant
  • Tulalip Tribes – $1,000 grant
  • Boeing Employee matching funds – $1,000
  • Sno-Isle Food CoOp – $917 “register round-up” donation, meeting space
  • Evergreen Unitarian Universalist Church – $500 donation, group work party
  • Snohomish Giving Circle – $400 donation
  • 501 Commons – Satterberg Foundation – in-kind support

 

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Home Page Post News

Coronavirus Closure

UPDATED MARCH 27

By Kristin Kinnamon, Board President

Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop supports essential transportation for many people who are at risk for severe illness should they contract coronavirus.  We benefit from the time and talents of many senior-age volunteers, also considered vulnerable to the virus.

It’s hard to keep a bike shop clean. And it’s hard to help someone fix a bike without getting closer than public health recommends.

In light of these concerns, Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop will be closed to the public starting Wednesday, March 18.

Until then, only four people will be permitted in the shop at one time.  That will allow staff, volunteers and customers to maintain social distancing, clean hands, and clean surfaces.

From mid-March to at least early April the shop will remain closed for most retail and DIY operations. Basic tools and a bike stand will be available in the shop garage for people who need to fix their own flat or make a minor adjustment. Customers who want to buy a bike in-person can call the shop to make an appointment at 425-252-6952. We also list higher end bikes and a variety of parts on our eBay store.

Sharing Wheels staff will remain at work: repairing bikes, organizing the shop, managing programs, and posting items for online sales.

Regular volunteers can schedule time to assist in the shop. We will be maintaining a 4-person maximum occupancy of our shop space.

The basic bike repair class scheduled for March 25 is rescheduled to May 13.  A plan for the Kids Bike Work Parties scheduled to start in April will be announced at a later date.

Categories
News Volunteers

Join Our Board

Updated November 2019

Board Application (PDF)

Do you care about sustainable transportation, serving diverse people in need, and making a difference in your community? Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop is seeking volunteers for our nonprofit board of directors.

Board members commit to monthly Board meetings, and may take on additional committee or outreach work as well. Expect to give 4 to 8 hours of time each month. You’ll get the satisfaction of helping Sharing Wheels mature and grow. (There are other volunteer benefits, too!)

We have just hired our first executive director and soon a new shop manager. Staff are in charge of running the bike shop, classes, and bike donation programs. The board’s role is to make sure the organization as a whole is funded and serves our mission of “Keeping People and Bikes Moving.”

We seek Board members who bring a diversity of age, race, cultural background, economic background, and experience, such as:

  • Business or retail management
  • Nonprofit and community connections
  • Finance or fundraising 
  • Homeless and social services

Board members are usually elected to one-year terms each January, but can also be appointed by the board at any time.

We have at least two and up to four openings starting in 2020.

If you are interested, or if you know of someone who you think would be a great Board member, please contact: board president Kristin Kinnamon at bikenbus @gmail.com or 425-923-7868.

Here’s the board_application (PDF) – mail or bring to shop anytime.

Categories
kids bikes News Uncategorized

Kids Bike Swap June 9th!

We’ve been preparing for months for this big weekend and the weather looks like it’ll be a wonderfully bike friendly day! Thank you to the Herald’s Stephanie Davey for the great write up! There’s still time to volunteer, wrench on some kids bikes now through Saturday or sign up for a shift helping out the day of! We still need some non mechanic volunteers to fill in with check in, check out , helmet fitting & clean up. Sign up here

Kids Bike Swap

Kids Bike Swap Sunday June 9, 2019

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

2531 BROADWAY AVE., EVERETT

in the back parking lot

A parent or guardian must come with each child to the Swap.

Russ N. checks out a bike at Kids Bike Swap 2012

Kids can trade in the bike they have outgrown and pick out a bike that fits them. Kids donate their old bike, and receive credit for the value based on its size and condition. A parent or guardian must be present at the Swap.

The credit can be used towards purchasing a bigger bicycle, which can costs an extra. Typically, when a bike is swapped, the family is able to take home their newly refurbished ride for $20 or less. Cash or checks  preferred. We also accept credit cards.

A free helmet comes with every bike – and we’ll make sure it fits!

About Swap Bikes

Bicycles with wheel sizes from 12-inches to 24-inches are ready for trading.

If your child needs a larger bicycle, we may be able to accommodate them.

All bikes are safety checked and refurbished by Sharing Wheels volunteers before they enter the Swap.

Swap Hours

No bikes will be swapped before 10 a.m. If you arrive early, please stay out of our “bicycle  coral.” If you arrive really early, we might even put you to work helping set up.

Before 12 noon, you must bring a bicycle to swap for credit to enter the Swap. After 12 noon, bicycles can be purchased for the value listed, without the need to trade.

The Swap closes at 2 p.m

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News Uncategorized Volunteers

Seeking Board Members

Updated March 2019

Do you like bikes and want to give back to your community? Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop is seeking volunteers for our nonprofit board of directors.

We have at least two and up to four openings. Submit a board_application (PDF) anytime – mail or bring to shop.

Board members support our mission of “connecting unused bikes to people who need wheels” with hands-on governance and enthusiasm. You don’t need to get greasy – we are looking for people with experience and expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Nonprofit or business management
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Fundraising and grants
  • Retail or business services
  • Everett community connections

Board members commit to monthly Board and committee meetings. We are updating vision and goals for 2019, keeping our growing shop aligned with our longterm mission of “connecting unused bikes to people who needs wheels.”

We seek Board members who bring a diversity of age, race, cultural background, economic background, and experience. Board members are usually elected to one-year terms each January, but can also be appointed by the board at any time.

If you are interested, or if you know of someone who you think would be a great Board member, please contact: board president Kristin Kinnamon at bikenbus @gmail.com or 425-923-7868.

Categories
classes News Volunteers

Advance your bike skills, help Sharing Wheels

Would you like to practice and improve your bike mechanic skills? Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop is starting a series of Sunday work parties for volunteers to learn bike maintenance while helping to refurbish donated bicycles. The first work party and training is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17. Volunteers will get oriented and give input on best times for future class sessions to complement the work parties. Pizza will be provided.

Attendees should have basic bike knowledge – such as fixing flats and lubing chains, or past experience helping with our kids bike programs. More experienced home and shop bike mechanics are also encouraged to attend – to learn more or help teach others.

Each session will cover a new bike maintenance skill which will be practiced while fixing up Sharing Wheels bicycles.

Ultimately, volunteers who attend all sessions will receive training equivalent to an advanced mechanics class – a $100 value. Space is limited, so volunteers are asked to sign up in advance on the Sharing Wheels website.

Additional adult bike work parties are scheduled for Sundays, Feb. 24 through March 24, except no work party March 10. Volunteers who put in at least 10 hours will be invited to a special Advanced Mechanics course in April.

Space is limited, so advance signup is required.

Register Now