Want to help others? Want a tax write-off? Want to donate to a bicycle-related charity?
There are plenty of them out there. Take the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and League of American Bicyclists (LAB) for example.
But there are other cool charities out there spreading the good news of cycling and helping those in need around the globe. Here are eight lesser-known charities that still have great missions:
Re-Cycle is changing lives by sending bicycles to Africa, where many people have no access to transport of any kind. Having a bicycle cuts transportation times drastically, helping families get to school or collect water. Re-Cycle has sent over 26,000 bikes so far and plans to send thousands more with your help.
Pedals for Progress is putting used bikes to good use. Instead of letting them pile up in landfills, they are collecting used bicycles and donating them to their partner charities in over 29 countries.
Trips for Kids provides mountain bike outings and environmental education for kids who would not otherwise be exposed to such activities. Mountain biking is so much fun, I would hate to be missing out on it.
The Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust is committed to saving young people’s lives by promoting safe cycling, focusing on the use of bicycle helmets. By advancing the use of helmets, cycle training, cycle lights and reflective clothing,the charity aims to ensure young cyclists are well equipped to take part in this healthy and environmentally friendly form of transport.
Safety is Sexy is here to erase the stigma that wearing a helmet is dorky or uncool and to encourage the idea that wearing a helmet is attractive, cool and smart. (Plus, you do look hotter in a helmet.)
Wheels 4 Life provides free bicycles for people in need of transportation in Third World countries. They partner with local organizations and identify persons who sincerely need a bike to be able to go to school or to work, which could be 10 to 20 miles away. The gift of mobility, in form of a bicycle, can do miracles.
World Bicycle Relief was founded in 2005 in response to the December 2004 tsunami that swept the Indian Ocean, and now they continue to partner with places in need to provide much-needed bicycles (for example, 88% of recipients depend on bicycles for livelihood activities.)
Yield to Life is here to help save cyclists’ lives and improve everyone’s quality of life on the road. Donations will be used for awareness campaigns and education initiatives that will target both motorists and cyclists alike, young and old, with the goal of making cycling safe for all.
Wheels of Change collects donated bicycles in the United States to be shipped overseas to Africa. Upon arrival of the container in Africa, local people are trained in both bicycle mechanics and simple business methods. The container the bicycles arrived in is turned into a bike shop, selling bicycles and other helpful tools at a subsidized cost with 100% all profits going back into the community.
Eight great bicycle-related charities, right there.*
*Actually I ended up listing nine, but “eight” and “great” rhyme, so I think that is just fine.
**Some charities seem to have ceased operating since I originally published this post, so they have been moved off the main list to below.
Bikes To Rwanda
Bikes to Rwanda is dedicated to helping the communities of Rwanda by providing much-needed bicycles and bike shops, which will allow for greater productivity from their agriculture industry (coffee farming, to be specific.) So if you drink coffee, check this out.
Leone Cycle For Africa
Leone Cycle For Africa is a community-based organization, founded in Uganda East Africa, by Leone Twaha Matovu, a 22 year old professional cyclist who happens to be the captain of the Uganda National Cycling Team. They use their talents, skills, abilities and love for the sport of cycling to reach out to the needy children and the youth of Africa.