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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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kids bikes News

Kids Bikes Bring Joy

By Christy Cowley, Executive Director

Thanks to so many of our loyal (and brand new) volunteers who donated much of their time, we managed to successfully gift 118 refurbished kid bikes to deserving families in our community this holiday season.

All the work started back in October when we encouraged neighbors and friends to sign up and help at one of our 19 scheduled workshop parties. The spirit of wanting to help children in need was great and giving back time and energy is what so many of you did.

A total of 39 folks donated 200 hours of their time cleaning, repairing, and distributing the kid bikes just in time for the holidays. Thanks to the generosity of the Stillaguamish Tribe, Sharing Wheels was able to purchase hundreds of new parts to make each bike safe, shiny and ready to ride.

A total of 118 bikes were delivered to non-profit partners including Christmas House, Housing Hope, Domestic Violence Services, Millennia Ministries, and Dawson Place. We are so grateful to these valued nonprofit partners who take the time to successfully match each bike with a family in need.

I cannot end without giving a special ‘shout-out’ to our work party hosts Larry, Tony, and Ion who once again did a spectacular job of leading and mentoring the volunteer crews and keeping everyone well-fueled during their shifts. Thank you, guys, for your continued dedication and willingness to manage the kid-bike holiday program.

There will always be kids who need bikes, so please, everyone, plan on joining us in 2022 for another successful event. Happy holidays and ride safely!

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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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kids bikes News Volunteers

Thank you, Volunteers!

Updated 2021

By: Christy Cowley, Executive Director

Thanks to all of YOU who participated in our 2020 Holiday Kid Bike program, more than 150 Snohomish County kids will get a bike this Christmas. We had 75 volunteers donate over 400 hours these past few months.  So many people helped clean, repair, transport, store and even purchase bikes for our annual giveaway.

Our usual partner Christmas House was unable to distribute bikes in 2020. But they still helped – by referring supporters and families in need, and by providing storage for bikes in process.

We matched 100 bikes directly with low/no income families in December with an additional 50 bikes distributed to our non-profit partners including;

  • The Salvation Army
  • Dawson’s Place
  • Interfaith Family Shelter and
  • Domestic Violence Services

The outpouring of generosity from all corners of our local community was tremendous! Groups of families and friends, Redmond Police Department, Cascade and BIKES Club of Snohomish County Members, local Boy Scouts, and so many individual contributors made up our volunteer task force this year. Thank you for all the support.

Redmond Police Department – Bike Squad
Henry A. in repair mode

We recognized early in November that the needs were much greater this year and that we wouldn’t have enough bikes to fulfill all the family requests. Enter Eagle Scout, Henry Amend, and The Everett Sail and Power Squadron who separately started their own fundraising campaigns and raised enough funds to purchase 61 brand new kid bikes to fill the gap. A special thank you to them and all the folks who contributed to their campaigns.

 

 

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Holiday Bike Update

By Christy Cowley, Executive Director

It has been a tsunami of activity in the shop this past month with all of the volunteers helping us meet our goal of restoring 75+ kid bikes for the upcoming holiday season. Since October we have had nine work parties with seven more scheduled – so the job will get done! 

The work parties are full, but we’ll need help Dec. 12-13 distributing bikes.

To date we have 400 hours logged in volunteer time, a 100% increase in productivity compared to a ‘normal’ month at Sharing Wheels. COVID adjustments were made (reduced number of people at each work party and allowed volunteers to take bikes home to fix) and they appear to be working just fine.

So, thank you to all of you who have answered the call to help get bikes ready for kids in need this holiday season. There are so many community members to thank for all the recent efforts.

A special shout out to the following:

Everett Sail & Power Squadron who kindly donated 14 brand new kid bikes to our Holiday Give Away program. Our volunteers will get those bikes built and ready for holiday distribution to low/no income families. 

Officer Robert Peterson of the Redmond Police Department who picked up our most challenging kid bikes for the Redmond Officer Bike Team to repair.

Mike D. and Greg M. for storing all of our finished kid bikes. If you have been to the shop lately, you know we are buried in bikes so having the finished bikes stored safely and securely off site has been a huge relief.

And thank you Larry W. and Mike D. for transporting bikes to our off-site storage!

Bruce M. and Tony S. for hosting our Tuesday/Thursday night work parties. Thank you both for taking the lead and mentoring the volunteers of all skill levels.

And finally…thank you to Alain Cansino, our shop manager, and our only in-shop paid employee. In addition to managing the everyday operations at Sharing Wheels, he has done an outstanding job of quality checking every kid bike and ensuring we have all the parts in stock to keep this important community project moving forward. 

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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