Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
Donations News

Donors GaveBIG

Kristin Kinnamon, Board President

Like so many small businesses and nonprofits, our finances were looking a bit shaky early this spring. The shop was closed for three weeks as we considered how to safely operate in COVID times. Even when the shop reopened, COVID had canceled classes and events like the Kids Bike Swap. Our bank account dropped $12,000 as expenses exceeded revenue. The Sharing Wheels Board took a deep breath.

That’s when many of you stepped up to GiveBIG. Thanks to matching contributions and 40 donors who gave from $20 to $1,000, we raised $8,511 during the statewide campaign. Another $2,200 came in the month following GiveBIG.

Your support bought helmets and new bike parts for our Kids Bike Giveaway program (see related article). It lets us loan tools for free to low income customers. We’re restarting classes – smaller for COVID reasons – without having to worry about the “break-even” point.

Even though bike shops have been considered “essential businesses” by the state and allowed to remain open (because bikes are transportation, not just toys), it’s been a difficult time. Knowing that you, too, think our work is essential has been a big boost – not just to the bank account, but also to our spirits.

Our board is fully committed to our mission – using bikes as vehicles for empowerment, affordability, sustainability and education. Thank you so much for supporting that vision.