Greetings to the whole family of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Exchange!
It’s been a very productive year at the Bicycle Exchange, thanks to all of the volunteer service groups who joined us this year in addition to the many individual volunteers who come to learn and fix bikes.
2019 by the Numbers
This year, over 1000 volunteers lent their helping hands and collectively put in over 10,000 hours, including those from fifteen great service groups. We’re excited that so many people have come to learn mechanical skills while helping our Bay Area community.
In all, we donated 820 bicycles out to fourteen non-profit charitable organization partners across San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties who then give them to their clients most in need. Our recipient partners are always grateful for the bikes they receive.
These organizations emphasize SVBE supplies not only wheels, but invaluable transportation for the homeless and working poor as well as bike transportation and recreation for hundreds of kids in need. All of our partners wish they could get more bikes.
For Sunday Friends, who receives most of our kids’ bikes, we provide helmets with each bike as well as multiple League of American Bicyclists-certified safety courses.
For comparison, our peers boast one bike donated for every bike sold. In 2019, thanks to all of our volunteers’ efforts, we donated 3.5 bikes for every bike sold!
The New Facility Opens
After several months of construction, we opened our new workshop location at 3961 E. Bayshore Road in Palo Alto in January 2019. If you haven’t seen it, we encourage you to visit us on one of our volunteer days to see how we’ve adapted this 6000 square foot tilt-up building to be a fully-equipped and vibrant workspace for groups of volunteers to work out of the weather year-round.
In addition to our traditional Saturday workdays, we’ve opened the shop for volunteers on Wednesdays, as well as our women’s nights on Tuesdays (now Monday nights) and a monthly Friday evening each month.
We’ve also held numerous weekday corporate team-building events throughout the year for a number of different companies in the area.
Early in the year, several of our women volunteers began holding Women’s Night twice a month to get interested women of all ages together to develop their mechanical skills in an all-female environment.
Check out their schedule for 2020 on the monthly calendar on our website.
We Need a Permanent Space
We have been blessed this year and for the upcoming year with a wonderful building for the shop, but it is only a temporary solution. We need to secure a permanent space to invest in what we do best. Over the next year, we’ll be putting in a lot of effort into finding a permanent space in the current real estate market. Your suggestions are always welcome.
Welcome Our New General Manager
We’ve always had great plans for what more SVBE can do and we volunteers just can’t do it all. We’ve hired Andrew Yee to do a broad range of things for us to keep the shop open more days, grow our programs, work on fundraising, and promote the organization. Come by and meet Andrew!
New Programs for 2020
In 2020, we hope to have the shop open more hours each week for you to come in and volunteer or work on your own bikes. We’ll create a small retail space to sell parts—tubes, lights, locks, tires, cables, etc.—in addition to more convenient used bike sales. Need something to keep rolling? Hopefully, SVBE can help you with your basic bike part needs, and your purchases will help keep SVBE rolling as well. Watch our website for announcements and new events.
Make 2020 Our Best Year Yet
Help turn 2020 into our best year yet. Your tax-deductible donation keeps bikes out of landfills and delivers independence to those most in need. A $200 donation funds five refurbished bike donations. Thank you for your support!
Thanks From Our Recipient Partners
While we know our bikes are much appreciated by our partners and recipients, it’s always nice to receive formal thanks. Here are two recent testimonials:
Hope's Corner, Mountain View: "Silicon Valley Bicycle Exchange has been a blessing to Hope’s Corner. The bikes we receive throughout the year all go to our clients in need of transportation. Our clients are either low-income families or homeless people who use the bike for transportation and freedom of travel. Your volunteers are amazing and they all need to know we appreciate them and we appreciate every bike, helmet, light and lock. Thank you all for what you are doing to make the world a better place!"
Sunnyvale Community Services Agency: "[Thanks for] the big help and contribution that Silicon Valley Bicycle Exchange has brought to Sunnyvale Community Services. It has helped many people who rely solely on the transportation of a working bike, and through our partnership that is exactly what we can give our clients. This ensures that everyone who is in need gets the help that they require while knowing that they don’t have to worry about their transportation. Furthermore, both the clients and Sunnyvale Community Services cherish all the work that the Silicon Valley Bike Exchange does. The impact is paramount. Thank you so much to Silicon Valley Bicycle Exchange and to all the people that make this program happen."