Ready for a new challenge in 2023 that will develop your professional skills while helping the community?
If you care about people, affordable and sustainable transportation, and making a difference in your community, consider serving on the Sharing Wheels board of directors.
It’s an exciting time to be part of our 20-year-old nonprofit. Right now, we seeking candidates for the 2023 election in January who will serve 1 to 3 years. Here’s the board_application (PDF).
We want 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
Lived experience in overcoming challenges such as addiction or homelessness
Board president Kristin Kinnamon is happy to discuss the board role and answer any questions via email, phone, Zoom or by meeting in-person at the shop.
The board meets monthly in downtown Everett – Zooming in is an option. The Board Responsibilities (PDF) document describes the basic expectations of our board, along with links to background documents such as our Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation, Annual Report, Budget, and Board Member Agreement.
After 15 years in our current location inside the Broadway Mall building, many of us have been excited by the prospect of moving to new space down the hall. Volunteers and staff have spent many hours mapping out how we’d fit bikes, volunteers and services in this more retail-oriented location.
The more serious we got about the move, the more concerned we got that it wasn’t the right fit, period. Our monthly costs would double, easy access to the garage and parking lot would be gone, and our work would still be spread across 3 different rooms.
Ultimately, after reviewing the benefits, downsides, and risks of a move, Executive Director Christy Cowley recommended that we “bloom in place.” It’s a strategy that invests in major improvements, but keeps our focus on accomplishing our mission rather than making rent.
A grant from the City of Everett is expected to help pay for a new see-through garage door and more direct entrance off our back alley.
We’ll work to brighten up the garage so it can be a more welcoming community space. Shop Coordinator Aaron Taht and volunteers continue to organize and reconfigure things inside the shop, with the goal of making more efficient use of space to everyone’s benefit – more work stations for volunteers, parts and tools easier to find, less excess and rarely-used stuff in our main shop (you can help by shopping at our March 26 Garage Sale.)
We are committed to working with our landlord to pursue investments in lighting, plumbing, electrical and other improvements to the shop and garage.
Finally, rather than street-front visibility, we plan to invest in our virtual presence. The goal is getting all our ready-to-ride bikes online with photos and basic information to draw customers into the shop.
Bottom line: Sharing Wheels is moving ahead, but not moving. In addition to “blooming in place,” we are excited to put time and resources into mission-based activities like bike repair clinics in the community, a monthly educational booth at the Everett Farmers Market, and connecting even more bikes to people who need them.
Thanks for your continuing support in our 20th year as a nonprofit.
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.
Thanks to our volunteers and community support, Sharing Wheels served a huge need for healthy outdoor activity and affordable, personal transportation in 2020.
We couldn’t create community within our shop due to COVID limitations, so we built bikes and connections in new ways. Volunteers took bikes home to clean and fix. Local nonprofits helped us match bikes with adults and kids who needed them. Our board met monthly via Zoom. Donations of time, bikes and cash kept us rolling despite a difficult year.
Bike Sales: While retail bike shops ran low on inventory, quality donations kept us stocked with a huge variety of bike styles, sizes, and prices. We loved helping new riders buy a bike to fit their needs and budget. 246 bikes.
Kids Bikes: Instead of the annual Kids Bike Swap and Christmas House events, we matched bikes with families directly, and partnered with other nonprofits to distribute bikes to low income kids. 194 bikes.
DIY Shop Use: Our free self-help station was moved out to the garage due to COVID shop limits. That made it harder for people to access our tools and advice. 75% of our 129 users bike for transportation and report low income.
115 people spent 2,615 hours helping in the shop and from their own garages. Boeing, Microsoft, & F5 Networks gave $2,500 to match employee efforts.
Top Volunteers: Larry Williamson, Bruce McLachlin, John Kasey, Don Sperlin, Dave Fox, Claudia Douglass, Patrick Sullivan. More than 100 hours each.
Giving & Support
Individual donations doubled this year thanks to spring and year-end campaigns. Donations were needed because shop activity and revenue were reduced due to COVID. 71 people gave $50 or more.
Grants: City of Everett Community Development Block Grant, Everett Port Gardner Rotary, Stillaguamish Tribe.
Education & Outreach
Repair Classes: We managed to teach several small, in-person bike mechanic classes. We also started mini-courses for mechanical volunteers. 25 students.
Adult Earn-A-Bike: We taught 12 formerly homeless or at-risk adults to fix a flat, gave them a fully-equipped refurbished bike, and took them on their first ride. “This is the best bike I’ve ever owned,” said a grateful 80-year-old recipient.
Velo Art Contest: While most events were canceled, we started something new to put our excess new and used parts to creative use. 6 artists, lots of fun!
Actual income and expenses for 2020.
Other Shop Costs
* The adopted budget anticipated use of reserves to balance.
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. For the past few years, Sharing Wheels has been in a period of change and growth. To help guide our nonprofit into the future, one of our greatest needs right now is having a mission-focused board that can strategize and prioritize, with members who will ask important questions, help find answers, and reach out into the community. The board meets the third Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Elections to 1-year terms are held in January at our annual meeting. Board appointments to fill vacancies or expand the board (up to 9 members) can happen anytime. Right now, we are hoping to appoint some new members willing to serve through at least the end of next year (December 2021). The Board Responsibilities (PDF) document describes the basic expectations of our board, along with links to background documents such as our Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation, Annual Report, Budget, and Board Member Agreement. After you’ve reviewed some of our board expectations, I would be happy to answer any questions via email, phone, Zoom or by meeting at the shop.
We seek Board members who bring a diversity of age, race, cultural background, economic background, and experience, such as:
On Aug. 27 Executive Director Christy Cowley shared this message with our board: “It is with deep sadness that I write to each of you this morning to let you know that our friend and fellow board member, Scott Schmitz, has passed away. “
Scott was an extremely dedicated volunteer for Sharing Wheels. At age 29, he was our youngest board member by far, and brought that youthful energy and ideas matched with great intelligence and wisdom.
The son of Everett residents Nick and Debbie Schmitz, he brought 8 years industry experience working for companies like Gregg’s Cycles, B&L Bicycles and Specialized Bicycle Components. He had a strong appreciation for all things mechanical and studied mechanical engineering at Washington State University. He loved living and mountain biking in Bellingham, WA, but spent much of the past year living and traveling around the West in a van he customized for that purpose. Even so, he never missed a board meeting and remained engaged in envisioning a bright future for Sharing Wheels.
Scott cared a lot about Sharing Wheels as an organization because he loved bikes. But he also cared because he saw – and knew in his own life – how important our community space can be for people who need comfort, a sense of competence, something to hold onto that is real (a bike) but that also represents freedom and the feelings you can exorcise while riding a bicycle.
Scott served as our Shop Operations Chair, and worked diligently to develop tools and systems to help both board and staff manage the bike shop. He planned and led our major shop clean-up and reorganization that started last fall and was completed in early 2020. The way the shop works now – better set up for everyone we serve – is to his credit.
Scott wrote several grant applications for us. In 2018 we got $6,500 from the Nysether Family Foundation for organizational development work thanks to his eloquent description of what we do, who we serve and why it matters:
“As the only non-profit bike shop in Snohomish County, we at Sharing Wheels believe bicycles are the fundamental link in the cogs which drive our everyday life. .. Just as bikes are more than just children’s toys, Sharing Wheels is more than just a bike shop. Bicycles serve a diverse purpose for people of all ages; offering freedom from disabling conditions, opportunity for self-reliance, and the ability to connect with and grow respect for our environment. One visit to the shop and it’s easy to see how fundamental our services are to not just the community but, specifically, the underrepresented population.”
His brother made a sketch that illustrates Scott’s free spirit, which we plan to frame and post in the shop in Scott’s memory – and to inspire the many adventures possible by bike. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the sketch, the family will donate all proceeds to Sharing Wheels. Look for more information about this in our September newsletter (you can “Join Our Email List” at the bottom of this page).
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.