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Donations kids bikes News Volunteers

Thank you for helping us make an impact in 2023!

By Sharing Wheels

This post is to say “Thank You”! Thank you for helping us make Snohomish County a place where anyone can ride, fix or recycle a bicycle. That’s our vision, anyway, and we did a lot to move toward it in 2023.

So far this year we have:

  • Helped 2-3 people every day we’re open, which is 5 days a week, with free Bike Repair Help.
  • Given 46 adults in need a bicycle for transportation.
  • Hosted 34 work parties with between 4 and 6 volunteers each. 54 total volunteers donated 720 hours of time!
  • Refurbished and distributed 181 kid bikes for low income families.
  • Repaired 176 bikes for free at 26 events at local libraries, senior centers, repair cafes, Explorer Middle School and First Baptist Church through our Mobile Bike Repair.
  • Accepted 441 bicycle donations to refurbish or recycle from the community.
  • Sold 283 refurbished bikes to grateful customers.
  • Conducted 18 bike maintenance classes for 35 students.
  • Helped 60 Work 4 Wheels / Bike Voucher Recipients.
  • Hired 2 WorkSource interns.

We couldn’t have done it without your support. Volunteers help staff the shop and fix bikes. Donors give directly and through corporate match programs at Boeing and elsewhere. Customers find the parts they need to keep classic bikes going, and spread the word by telling their friends about our shop and services.

We love bikes and the people who ride them. Thanks for helping us make a difference as the only nonprofit bike shop in Snohomish County. Together we make the world better – one pedal stroke at a time.

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Donations News Volunteers

Supporter Profile: Amy Fox

By Kristin Kinnamon, volunteer

Amy Fox first got connected with Sharing Wheels more than 15 years ago. She had a beloved Bridgestone MB3 mountain bike that she no longer used (after upgrading to a more modern bike).

She donated her classic bike “reluctantly but with great belief that it would find a new home with someone who really needed it.”

“Connecting unused bikes to people who need wheels,” is a big part of what Sharing Wheels does by refurbishing and repurposing donated bikes.

Since her first bike donation, Amy has taken repair classes at Sharing Wheels, volunteered at our Kid Bike Work Parties, and donated her parent’s beloved tandem to the shop.

She and her husband Brice Howard (a former board president of Sharing Wheels) are yearly financial donors to the organization as well.

”I am inspired to provide bikes to children and adults who need them,” she says. She values our programs that help people work on their own bikes, and that support people who need to bike to get around.

Amy has loved biking since she was a kid.  Her first bike was named “Tinkerbell”, complete with a white basket, purple tassels and a white banana seat. Cruising down her dead end street, with tassels dancing from the one speed she went, fast.

After getting in a car crash at age 17, Amy got around solely by bike until she was 25. “Having a bike meant freedom from the anxiety that I had developed around driving a car.  It also gave me more confidence in myself, that I could independently get places, just putting my foot on the pedal and pushing.”

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Donations kids bikes News Volunteers

Kid bikes for the holidays

A big request from us

Larry (right) giving instruction.
Fixing up kid bikes.

As you read this, our Xmas Kid Bike Work Parties will be in full swing. These workshops are something we take a great deal of pride in. Each year, Sharing Wheels refurbishes donated kid bikes to provide to local charities. They then provide them to children whose parents would otherwise not be able to afford a bike. Charities also donate bikes to children of Afghan refugees, and the need is still greater because of the influx of Ukrainian refugees this year.

All of this is to say that the need is great, and we can only do this with the help of people like you. Our needs are twofold: 

  1. We need kid bikes to repair. We are appealing to you for donations of lightly used kid bikes (any size, any brand) to fix up and donate to kids. We’re looking for about 100 total bikes and we could use about 40 more (give or take).
  2. We need volunteers to fix up kid bikes. Volunteers are vital to the operation of our work parties. Kid bikes are comparatively simpler in construction than adult bikes. Therefore, they’re easier to work on and you don’t need much mechanic experience. We can teach you everything you need to know. Also these bikes also need a good cleaning, so you can just do that if you want to! Our work parties are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6pm – 9pm (except Thanksgiving). You can sign up on our calendar page.

In sum, our Xmas Kid Bike Work Parties are an important program for us to recycle kid bikes and get them into the hands of kids who will ride them. And, crucially, it’s important for the kids receiving them. For children of low-income parents, the program is an example of the spirit of the holiday season. For children of refugees, it can serve as an example of the compassion that the people of this country can show to others. In both cases, it’s magical for them.

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Donations kids bikes News Volunteers

Year-End Giving

By Kristin Kinnamon, Board President

Sharing Wheels would not have made it through the COVID challenges of 2020 without a doubling of support from our donors and supporters.

We still need your support. As we enter the winter months, our bike sales slow and our bank account drops. Our budget relies on one thing to maintain our free programs, staff and open shop: You.

You may already be a volunteer, a bike donor, or a customer. We hope you will be a financial donor as well. Give a little if that’s all your budget allows, or give more to help cover for people who can’t donate as much.

Our goal is raising $15,000 to keep people and bikes moving.

All donations made by Dec. 20 will be matched by our board and supporters, so your money goes twice as far.*

How do your donations impact people’s lives? Bikes bring joy, get people places, develop skills, build community.

“I rode the bike everywhere and every single day, for appointments,  groceries … I came home wet on rainy days, but the fun part – me and my kids love getting wet in rain.” –

Prapti, recipient of a bike and trailer through our Community Bikes program
  • $30 fixes a kids bike – we’re giving away 100+ kids bikes for the holidays
  • $50 covers minor repairs & parts to get someone back on the road
  • $100 gives a Community Bike, lock, lights and helmet to an adult in need
  • $150 sends our Mobile Repair Clinic out to fix bikes for free

We welcome gifts at all levels. The board has also set goals to get

  • 30 gifts of $50
  • 10 past donors to increase their gift to $100

Come by the shop anytime to see your gifts at work. Some of my favorite moments this past year have been watching our customers and clients help each other – like when the homeless guy helped a woman load her new bike in her car as his way of giving back for a free repair, or when amateur mechanics crowd around a bike trying to diagnose a problem.

Your support of Sharing Wheels makes these interactions possible. Thank you for keeping people and bikes moving.

*All gifts up to $7,500 will be matched by additional donations from our supporters. You may also work for a company that does corporate matching, such as Boeing, Microsoft or Salesforce.

See our 2020 Annual Report. Save the date for our Annual Meeting & Elections: Jan. 26 via Zoom.

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Donations kids bikes News Volunteers

Support Surged in 2020

By Kristin Kinnamon, Board President

Sharing Wheels is not currently accepting donations of bikes for kids or adults – the shop is full!*

Despite COVID-19 limits on our retail sales and volunteer events, Sharing Wheels remained a hub of activity in 2020. We needed the community to step up to support our programs, and that’s exactly what happened.

More than 75 volunteers helped prepare a record 151 new and used bikes for our holiday bike program  We matched up about 100 kids bikes directly with families by referral from other nonprofits. Christmas House, our longtime partner in the kids bike program, connected us with clients, volunteers, new bikes and helmets, and even stored bikes we’d repaired until we could get them to families.

Many people donated gently-used bikes.  Individual financial donations to Sharing Wheels doubled in 2020, to $32,000.

The Stillaguamish Tribe awarded a $5,400 grant to support Sharing Wheels kids bike programs and volunteers. A City of Everett Community Development Block Grant allowed us to give maintenance classes and bikes to 12 low income adults this year. The Everett Port Gardner Rotary continued an annual grant of $2,000 to support the shop’s free self-help repair services.

“Interest in bicycles boomed this year because people of all ages needed to feel the freedom that comes from riding outside,” Sharing Wheels Executive Director Christy Cowley said. “We also help many low income people who use bikes because they are the most affordable, efficient way to get around town.”

*If you need a bike, the shop has an excellent selection of refurbished adult bikes. The shop is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Volunteer opportunities are available. Please complete a volunteer application on our website.

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Donations News

Invest in Sharing Wheels

By Kristin Kinnamon, Board President
Sharing Wheels has long struggled to have enough space for our bikes, people and programs. With COVID, that weakness threatens our mission. We’ve had to limit the number of people in the shop to 3. Our space to store and repair bikes is limited. Our convoluted back entrance limits our visibility and accessibility.
We expected 2020 to be a transition year, one where we invested reserves to help our new part-time executive director grow our organization into the future. Instead, reserves have had to replace revenue lost to COVID. We can’t keep doing that in 2021.
You can help. If you believe in bicycles and the people who ride them, consider a year-end donation to Sharing Wheels. Our goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of the year.
Funding will enable Sharing Wheels to have the space and staffing we need to continue offering our essential services.

Giving TwoWheels Day

Sharing Wheels has our own take on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1). We are asking supporters to “give two wheels” instead. It costs $25 to $75 in new parts and labor to refurbish a donated kid or adult bike. Donate enough to repair one bike, or two, or to fully equip a bike for someone’s daily transportation ($250).
Gifts through Dec. 15 will be doubled thanks to a matching challenge.

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Donations News

Learn & Earn-A-Bike 2020

This year, despite COVID challenges, we managed a City of Everett grant-funded program that provided bikes and bike training to low income adults. Most will be using the bikes for everyday transportation, including Traci, a mom of 4 kids.

After a difficult marriage to a veteran with PTSD, Traci is now divorced, living with her mom, and back at school to become a pastry chef. She doesn’t own a car. “Now I know how I’m going to get to class,” she said. It’s the first bike she’s had since growing up in Montana. Here in Washington, she’ll combine her bike with a bus ride to get from south Everett to Edmonds Community College.

Traci’s 17-year-old daughter hopes to come in to Sharing Wheels to earn her own bike, and to help fix bikes for the littler kids. The Sharing Wheels shop is now a resource for the whole family.

We had 11 people complete the program, all low income Everett residents. Most were referred by partners such as HopeWorks or Domestic Violence Services.

Participants started by meeting the Shop Manager Alain to select a suitable bike. Then they got a one-on-one “fix a flat” and basic maintenance class from Alain. Finally, when their bike was tuned up and fully equipped with fenders, rack and other accessories, we took people on a practice ride around Everett.

An 80-year-old with a tear in his eye told us: “This is the best bike I’ve ever had in my life.” Gary and I were at Everett Station, practicing how to put his refurbished Univega Range Rover on the bus.

Gary described his son as his caretaker, but the bike means Gary can get around on his own. Next year, riding 200 miles from Seattle to Portland is on Gary’s bucket list. Bikes mean freedom, no matter your age.

While our “Earn-A-Bike” grant is over, Sharing Wheels has always found ways to make bikes affordable for people who need them. Donors – of bikes and cash – support programs such as Work for Wheels and free access to the shop for do-it-yourself repairs and advice.