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Board News Volunteers

Board wants help with big goals

By Kristin Kinnamon, board member

The Sharing Wheels Board spent the last six months of 2023 in a strategic planning process facilitated by the Community Foundation of Snohomish County.

Board members found it fairly easy to agree on our updated vision (for the world we’d like to help create) and our top 3 goals for the coming few years (see below). What will be harder is implementing our strategies and tactics to reach those goals.

We welcome volunteers and supporters to be part of our efforts. You might join a committee, give input at a stakeholder meeting, or share your professional expertise or community connections.

Your first chance to be involved is at our Annual Meeting, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the shop. Please RSVP if you are able to attend.

You can also email Executive Director Christy Cowley or talk to Shop Manager Ed Roos in person at the shop.


Vision: A Snohomish County where anyone can ride, fix and recycle a bikeSharing Wheels Community Bike Shop

Goal 1 : Establish a Sharing Wheels location that meets the needs of staff, volunteers, customers and stakeholders

Strategy: Define what we need in a location with input from staff, volunteers, customers and stakeholders

Goal 2: A bike shop staffed with enthusiastic and highly skilled employees and volunteers

Strategy: Nurture and train current employees and volunteers

Goal 3: A trusted bike shop that provides reliable bikes, parts & accessories along with friendly expertise

Strategy: Process bikes and other donations in a timely and cost-effective manner

Categories
Board News Volunteers

New vision and goals for 2024

Sharing Wheels Board of Directors

Vision: A Snohomish County where anyone can ride, fix and recycle a bike

Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop

Goal 1 : Establish a Sharing Wheels location that meets the needs of staff, volunteers, customers and stakeholders

Strategy: Define what we need in a location with input from staff, volunteers, customers and stakeholders

Goal 2: A bike shop staffed with enthusiastic and highly skilled employees and volunteers

Strategy: Nurture and train current employees and volunteers

Goal 3: A trusted bike shop that provides reliable bikes, parts & accessories along with friendly expertise

Strategy: Process bikes and other donations in a timely and cost-effective manner


The Sharing Wheels Board spent the last six months of 2023 in a strategic planning process facilitated by the Community Foundation of Snohomish County.

Board members found it fairly easy to agree on our updated vision (for the world we’d like to help create) and our top 3 goals for the coming few years (see below). What will be harder is implementing our strategies and tactics to reach those goals.

We welcome volunteers and supporters to be part of our efforts. You might join a committee, give input at a stakeholder meeting, or share your professional expertise or community connections.

Your first chance to be involved is at our Annual Meeting, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the shop. Please RSVP if you are able to attend.

You can also email Executive Director Christy Cowley or talk to Shop Manager Ed Roos in person at the shop.

Categories
News Volunteers

Rolling into the holidays

By Christy Cowley, Executive Director

One-hundred-seventeen! That’s the total number of kid bikes volunteers refurbished and donated to Christmas House this holiday season.

Hundreds of new parts, lots of elbow grease and TLC is what it takes to bring life back to a used bike. Since October we’ve had 47 volunteers working 487 hours in our shop every Tuesday and Thursday evening (and a few Sundays) to ready these bikes for the holidays.  And while volunteer labor may be ‘free’, there are costs for parts, accessories, snacks, and staff time. 

Much gratitude goes to the Stillaquamish Tribe for funding this important program. Their generosity allows us to refurbish bikes with new and safer parts, ensuring a longer lifespan for each gifted bike.

We started collecting bikes for this year’s program in July, securely packing them into our back storage room. Trek Bicycle Redmond and Recycled Cycles donated dozens of gently used bikes and more than 50 used bikes were donated from individual community members.

We may never know if it was simply the excitement of working together in our unique shop space that fueled the volunteers each night or was it the 360 “bundtini” cakes donated by Nothing Bundt Cakes of Mill Creek? Either way, the heart and hustle of all the workers was evident throughout the entire season.

Thanks to our work party hosts Larry, Bruce, Kristin, Ion and Tony who did a remarkable job of mentoring and welcoming the volunteers, regardless of their prior experience. 

Watching these 117 refurbished bikes finally roll out of our garage and over to Christmas House, where lucky families were able to choose the perfect bike for their child, fills my heart with joy and reminds me how fortunate I am to be part of this community.

Happy Holidays to each of you.

Categories
News Volunteers

Where will our future take us?

Help us envision new space for Sharing Wheels

By Kristin Kinnamon, Board Member

Whenever the weather – and shop – turn cold, when volunteers and customers working on bikes bump elbows in our crowded work stands, when new customers wander in from the alley with a dazed look saying “I finally found you,” when bike donations block the entry or dirty hands cry out for washing (but there’s no sink), when the summer heat turns our space into an oven – when those things happen, we dream about a bigger, better shop space for Sharing Wheels.

We’ve been in our current, low-rent space in the Broadway Mall building since 2005. 

Two years ago, we seriously considered renting additional space here in this building. Or at least making major improvements to the garage and entrance to better welcome customers.

Unfortunately, after putting significant effort into those potential changes (figuring out work flow, pricing glass doors, giving tours during a December open house), we concluded that the Broadway Mall Building (built in the 1920s) is not the place for us to grow and pursue our vision of “A Snohomish County where anyone can ride, fix or recycle a bicycle.”

What kind of space do we need to accomplish that vision? That is the first question our Board hopes to answer with your help in 2024. We need to define:

  • Size – How many square feet do we need for our programs and services?
  • Function – What types of activities do we need to plan for (such as walk-in repairs, volunteers, classes)?
  • Features – We love having a garage entrance for rolling bikes in and out. What other amenities do we want to retain or add in a different space?
  • Location – We like being bikeable and close to transit. Do we need to be in Everett?
  • Budget – What can we afford in terms of rent, utilities and other costs, including moving?

Our Board of 8 volunteers does not want to answer these questions alone. Everyone reading this, everyone who’s ever bought a part or given us a bike, every local bike shop, and every leader in the community (elected or not) is considered one of our stakeholders.

We want your input.

There’s a big piece of butcher paper in the garage right now, waiting for you to write down your ideas. We’d also invite everyone to our annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17 at the Sno-Isle Food CoOp.

Along with electing board members, we’ll be seeking volunteers who can help us pursue our goals of 

  1. Defining what we need in a space with stakeholder input
  2. Gathering data on rental and lease availability and costs, space-sharing and government support opportunities, and what we can afford
  3. Sharing our needs with community groups and leaders to build support and leads

Please participate in planning for our future. If you can’t make it to the meeting, feel free to email your thoughts to Executive Director Christy Cowley, ccowley@sharinghweels.org Thanks for supporting Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop.

Categories
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.

Categories
News Volunteers

New intern is quick learner

By Ed Roos, Shop Manager

Eddie Schneider rolled into the shop on a Sharing Wheels bike that he fixed up for himself. In his usual bright demeanor, he happily greeted the staff and volunteers, “SUP!”

He explains how the bike wasn’t working quite right and a couple volunteers offer to help him fix his loose handlebars. But Eddie has other plans. “I got this” he exclaims and takes the project on himself.

Eddie started work as an intern with Sharing Wheels in mid-October. He is employed through our partnership with WorkSource, a state agency that works with nonprofits to provide jobs and training services. Eddie is part of a program for at-risk young people who need work experience.  After some struggles with homelessness, he now lives in housing provided by Cocoon House.

Ed Roos, Sharing Wheel’s Shop Manager says, “Eddie is a great addition to our team. He always comes to work early, with a great attitude. He works independently, always finding something to do and is learning some great life and work skills. When he first arrived, he knew very little about bikes, but he has incredible tenacity to learn and do the work himself.  And always with a smile, laughter and witty comment. This guy’s going places and I look forward to being a mentor and guide for him on his journey.” 

Eddie has learned how to take a bike apart and rebuild it, as well as basic bike maintenance and working with customers. Eddie described his time at Sharing Wheels as “it keeps me away from drama and keep focus on the things I need to think about and accomplish in my life. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! I get great advice from mentors who also serve as role models in my life. These guys don’t steer me in the wrong direction. Prior to working at Sharing Wheels, things were chaotic and crazy, but since working here, things have gotten better for me.”

At only 18 years old, Eddie is just starting out his post high school life and getting the job skills he needs to be successful. Eddie can be seen all over Everett, riding the bike that he got through the Sharing Wheels Community Bike program.

Come by the shop to meet Eddie and our friendly volunteers/mentors. According to Eddie, you will not regret it. 

Categories
News Volunteers

Mobile bike clinics keep people rolling

By Christy Cowley, Executive Director

We’ve gone and done it again for the third year. Partnering with libraries, community centers and WSU Repair Cafe, we’ve offered 26 free bike repair events in Snohomish County this year.* We fixed almost 180 bicycles, plus a few walkers and scooters as well.

The minor bike repairs are completely free thanks to 16 volunteers, who donated 312 hours of their time, and to the The Larson Legacy Foundation, who once again partially funded the purchase of the tools, parts and accessories necessary to run the program.

We never ask for payment at our mobile bike repair clinics, but some people just can’t resist showing their appreciation. Ted was one of those satisfied customers. With no reliable income and only a broken bike to get around town, he came to our monthly clinic at Everett’s Evergreen Library for help. When we were done fixing his bike, he emptied his pockets of all his loose change to thank our volunteers.

The average local bike shop charges $75 an hour for labor, so even basic bike repairs can be way beyond what many people can afford. That’s why we go out into the community to offer help.

Our volunteers helped a wide range of customers in 2023:

  • 43% identified as low or very low income
  • 15% had disabilities
  • 27% were Asian, 12% Hispanic or Latino, 8% Black or African American, and 3% were Native American

With all that diversity everyone still had one thing in common – a bike in need of repair. 

No one should ever have to ride a bike with tattered brake cables and broken pedals. That’s why Sharing Wheels will continue to expand the mobile repair program and offer this much-needed service in 2024 and beyond. 

*Mobile Repair Clinic Locations

  • Evergreen Library
  • Mariner Library
  • Bothell Library
  • WSU Repair Cafes throughout Snohomish County
  • First Baptist Church, Everett

Thanks especially to the Everett Public Library and Sno-Isle Library systems, whose staff helped host and promote the events.