For the past few months, I have been working on an initiative to get kids in low income communities the chance to own their own two wheels.  Based on research of how other organizations donate used bikes, I know that the ideal situation is to combine the “bike gift” with some sort of program.  Usually this involves repairing a bike or taking a bike skills course, then the child receives the bike.  Definitely win-win.

The problem is that those programs take resources (time, staff, and money) that most community organizations just don’t have.  Also single parents, many who do shift work or have more than one job to make ends meet…they don’t have a lot of spare time to enrol their kids into such programs, and/or attend with them.

I’ve really been struggling with this.  I know there are kids bikes out there that people are more than willing to donate rather than sell or end up in a landfill.  And I know there are kids who could use those bikes.   I don’t think it creates a dependency, I think of it as recycling a bike and empowering communities.

I want to know – do you think there is anything wrong with simply donating a bike to a child who could really use it?