Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Catholic Charities Staff Mend Bicycles for Homeless

Written by Renee Targos
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Sometimes it takes the right people and an unusual situation to make miracles happen. This was the case with 20 donated used bicycles to Catholic Charities from Pine View Village Apartments this year.

When Catholic Charities staff, Ted Martello and Rick Brust, learned that Pine View Village apartment tenants had abandoned bicycles over the last two years—they asked the apartment’s corporate offices if they would consider donating them to Catholic Charities clients experiencing homelessness.

Donated Bikes for the Homeless

The result was a donation of 20 used bicycles to help homeless veterans, clients treated for mental health issues and other people living without homes. Many people experiencing homelessness are bound to walking, which limits their ability to access shelters, food pantries and other needed services to survive.

This was the second time Pine View Village apartments donated used bicycles to Catholic Charities. The first time happened in 2013 with a donation of 10 bikes. Since then, seven of Catholic Charities staff have become proficient in doing bike repairs and replacing tubes, spokes, chains and other repairs to make bicycles safe and usable.

Staff Repair Bikes for Clients

bike 1 editedAfter the bikes get donated, staff will take personal and work time to repair the bikes for clients. Staff will also fix them up specifically for a client’s needs, like for someone with a pet. Staff have made bike carts so clients can transport their animals and belongings.

“Bikes serve as an excellent form of transportation for clients seeking employment, maintaining their treatment, getting to appointments and traveling to and from personal campsites,” says Brust. “It also provides them with exercise.”

 

Bikes and Parts Always Needed

Clients are selected to receive donated bikes after staff work with them on their case plans and goals. As the bikes really help clients to live more independently, they are in demand. Brust says Catholic Charities is always looking for donations of bicycles and bike parts, such as reflectors, lights, bike locks, bike seats, helmets, tires, tubes, tube liners, brake line and other accessories.

So we want to send a big thank to Pine View Village apartments for their generosity in helping the vulnerable in their community! If you’re interested in donating a bicycle, please call 1-855-316-2229.

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