Bicycling, we would argue, is one of the best crazes to happen. Two-wheelers have been rolling across the nation, with bike-friendly cities and towns popping up from the West to the East. But not everyone has access to this eco-friendly transportation, and the Boise Bicycle Project is working overtime to fix that.
The Boise Bicycle Project (BBP) is a community-oriented cooperative that promotes the personal, social and environmental benefits of bicycling. BBP was founded in 2007 with the dream of reusing donated bikes and giving them to community children in need. Through recycling and refurbishing bikes, and workshops such as earn-a-bike, work-trade, and other similar programs, BBP has donated more than 4,700 and distributed more than 12,000 bikes to community members. They host weekly volunteer nights, monthly social rides, and feature annual events such as Bikin’ for Lovin’, a Valentines Day ride & celebration; Pedal 4 The People, a community-wide week of bike celebrations; and Tour de Fat, a bike parade and party put on by VolunteerLocal client New Belgium.
“I think it’s one of the best volunteer sign up platforms out there.”
BBP is hosting its 10th annual Christmas Kid’s Bike Giveaway on December 17th, with hopes of donating over 450 bikes, each equipped with a helmet, lock, light, and a safety lesson to community kids. “This event brings so much joy to so many kids and families,” says Kelly McDonnell, Development Director Extraordinaire. “Every year, BBP partners with local non-profits, schools, churches, and other community organizations that nominate kids ages 2-12 to receive a bike. Each child sends us a picture of their Dream Bike along with a short description of what a new bike would mean to them.”
The Boise Bicycle Project then works with their staff and volunteer mechanics to match bicycles that have been donated by community members with the childrens’ bike pictures. The kids are ecstatic to receive the bikes that they dreamed up themselves. With more than 100 volunteers working in December and on the day of the event, the Christmas Kid’s Bike Giveaway is a special, heartwarming day that McDonnell says many of their volunteers look forward to every year.
The BBP is making dreams come true in more way than one. “We believe that Boise has the potential to be the cycling capital of America and envision the Boise Bicycle Project as one of the key community leaders to help it reach that potential,” says McDonnell. “Through education and access to quality affordable bicycles, we believe bicycling can be a tool to create positive social change. We hope to strengthen lives far beyond the bicycle.”
Their toolbox doesn’t involve just wrenches and bike pumps – it also includes VolunteerLocal. “It’s simple to use for the administrator and the volunteers. Plus, excellent customer service when I need some extra help,” says McDonnell. “VolunteerLocal has been immensely helpful in managing volunteers. It’s easy to share links to promote our volunteer opportunities, and volunteers can easily sign up and review registered shifts. One of the tools I like best is Report – with one click you can see how many shifts you still need to fill and who has signed up for shifts.”
“I would definitely recommend VolunteerLocal to others, and I have!”
Have your own toolkit of skills you’d like to offer? Sign up now for the Christmas Kid’s Bike Giveaway. Don’t live in Boise but still want to support the Boise Bicycle Project? You can Adopt a Kids Bike, ensuring that a child will receive their dream bike. The Boise Bicycle Project will send each donor a picture of the child with their new dream bike as a thank you for their generosity.