Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison reached an incredible milestone on Friday, November 17, 2023 by giving away our 10,000th bicycle to transportation challenged people in Dane County and beyond. We were hopeful that we would meet this milestone by the end of 2023. We have been giving away bicycles since 2017 and this bike marks the 10,000th given away since we began our work. FB4K gives bikes away through a robust network of other charitable organizations and public schools. Our application to receive bicycles is now open through January 31, 2024.
Alan, a student at Madison West High School was the recipient of the 10,000th bike. According to his wrestling coach Ron Klein, Alan is a positive influence on his fellow students due to his positive attitude and is beloved by all at the school. Alan has been walking a long distance to school since his bike was stolen. Although replacing Alan’s bike was delayed because of the passing of his grandfather, his coach was finally able to visit the FB4K shop and help Alan get his new bicycle, a Giant mountain bike. “One of the reasons we are so excited about this number is because the impact is so great. These 10,000 bike recipients likely would have never received a bike if it wasn’t for our work. Through our experience we know that if a kid doesn’t have a bicycle, they won’t think about a bike as a mode of transportation as an adult because they’ve never experienced all the benefits of owning a bike,” said Executive Director Kristie GoForth.
Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison’s ability to provide bicycles to the community free of charge is made possible through the efforts of our dedicated team along with hundreds of hours of volunteer effort refurbishing bikes for their future owners. Donations from individuals, funding through grants, and offering bike sales and service to the public provides the funding for the program.
Every spring, approximately 2,000 bikes will be distributed in the spring to marginalized communities in Dane County, Milwaukee County and Racine County. Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison collects unwanted bicycles then refurbishes them and gives them away through their distribution partners each spring. Although the bikes are donated, it is not free to give away a safe and reliable bicycle. A team of professional mechanics tunes up every single bike while an army of volunteers cleans them and brings them back to life, saving them from the landfill.
Bikes are a highly efficient and low-cost mode of transportation that many rely on when access to bussing is limited or the cost of a car is out of reach. Free Bikes 4 Kidz strives to give away a helmet and lights with every bicycle given away. The cost of this bicycle package is $135 which covers the cost of a high-quality bicycle, helmet, a set of lights, paid staff, purchases of new parts, and covers the overhead required to do this work.
With Giving Tuesday just around the corner on November 28, we are fundraising $20,250 so we can provide these accessories for the final 150 bikes that were given away this fall to meet the 10,000 goal. For the month of November, a fundraising match is sponsored by an anonymous donor doubling every donation that is made.
The link to donate to this cause can be found here: https://fb4kmadison.