(This is the kick-off entry of an occasional column by our board member and treasurer on matters related to Silicon Valley Bicycle Exchange's bike donations to those in need.)
As we reach the midpoint of the year, it would be useful to take a look at our bike donations for 2022.
At the beginning of 2022, the Board approved a target of 1,000 bicycles donated out this year. This would be the highest total ever for BikeX, and targeted for a year during which a pandemic continues to rage. For reference, we donated out 782 bikes last year, and 845 bikes in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, so this is a significant increase.
How are we doing towards this year‘s goal? As of 6/30, we‘ve donated 515 bikes. Whew, what a blistering pace! However, I hope everyone is not exhausted yet, as we have to keep up this pace for another six months.
If you‘re looking for opportunities to contribute, we‘ve resumed our pre-pandemic weekend events on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays (outdoors and socially distanced) of every month.
If you‘re hesitant about working with others even outdoors, our homework volunteers continue to repair a steady stream of bicycles; you can try taking a bike (and supplies) home to repair at your leisure.
Our Wednesday crew just recently resumed hosting corporate groups for team-building events, supplementing the non-profit groups coordinated by Mary Kelly which have been bike-fixing on numerous weekends, and numerous youth and adults we have volunteering during the week. It truly takes a village.
Our bike recipient partners have been particularly grateful since the start of the pandemic. As you all know, the number of families struggling here in the Valley has skyrocketed, and the situation has only worsened with the recent increase in gas prices. Transportation alternatives such as bicycles have new appeal. In addition to heightened demand from our long-time partners, more social service agencies than ever have reached out to obtain bicycles for their clients. We have also created new partnerships with numerous schools in both Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties to provide bicycles for students.