Bicycles arrive one or two at a time and grow into the dozens.
Sewing machines, some after sitting in basements for years, also stack up.
But not for long. They will soon be shipped overseas to help people.
The items, both of which have a strong second, donatable life, were dropped off behind the Colts Neck Reformed Church Sunday as part of a Pedals for Progress event.
The bicycles are headed to Rwanda to help others. “Each shipping container holds a little under 500 bicycles,” said Gary Michel, of Pedals for Progress.
They had 400 bikes packed Sunday and were hoping to collect 50 to 60, he said.
“It keeps stuff out of our landfills in this country and moves it to a country that really needs the help,” said Carol McCoy, who organized the donation at the church.
“We set up a bike shop in whatever Third World country we are shipping to, owned by nationals from that country,” said Michel.
The bikes are sent as is so repairs will be made in the country that receives them. “They are going to repair the bikes and we want them to sell the bikes,” Michel said.
Some will be given away but most will be sold at a very reasonable price $2, maybe $5, and that gets those guys paid. Now they have a job they help create a little economy, added Michel.
Secondly, when someone pays for a bike they have a vested interest in the bike and now they take care of it, if it breaks down, they take it back to the bike shop for repairs and it helps keep that economy rolling, Michel said.
“I had three kids bicycles taking up space in my garage,” said donator Nancy Holm. “It feels great. I have less stuff in my garage and I’m helping three people.”
“Over 30 years we have shipped some 160,000 bicycles overseas,” Michel said.
Sewing machines are shipped separately. The organization started collecting and shipping them when they realized the support the same mission as bikes: they are a relatively simple way to improve economic circumstances in the developing world. That effort is called Sewing Peace.
“It’s so much fun when it all comes together to know that you helped somebody it helps so many people in different ways,” McCoy said.
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Originally Appeared On: https://www.nj.com/monmouth/2021/05/that-old-bike-in-your-garage-could-help-keep-an-economy-rolling-in-a-third-world-country-photos.html