While attempting to find a positive story for this month’s “We Are the World Blogfest,” I found two local, cycling-related projects that I hope will bring as big a smile to your face as they did mine.
Riverview Gardens – Earn a Bike
Riverview Gardens is a non-profit organization in Appleton, Wisconsin, with a mission to provide job training for people in need, to transform their lives and our community. Riverview believes in the dignity of hard work and allowing people to be part of their own solution.
The Earn-A-Bike Program is an opportunity for community members to work together to address a common barrier to employment and community engagement, providing low cost, reliable, and low maintenance transportation to people who need a bike. Participants do not have to be enrolled in any other programming at Riverview Gardens. Self-identified people in need of a bicycle volunteer 15 hours in any capacity in exchange for ownership of a bicycle and safety gear (lock, light, and helmet). Once earned, a bicycle can be brought back to the Earn-A-Bike shop for free repairs and tune-ups.
Brewster Village – Cycling Without Age
Cycling Without Age is a movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow. Ole wanted to help the elderly get back on their bicycles, but he had to find a solution to their limited mobility. The answer was a trishaw and he started offering free bike rides to local nursing home residents. He got in touch with a civil society consultant from the City of Copenhagen, Dorthe Pedersen, who was intrigued by the idea, and together they bought the first 5 trishaws and launched Cycling Without Age, which has now spread to all corners of Denmark, and to 28 countries around the world.
The Cycling Without Age movement is present at Brewster Village, a county nursing home in Appleton. Click on the link below, then find the video under the photo.
Fox Cities Greenways, Inc. has partnered with Brewster Village and Fox Cities Cycling to establish a Cycling Without Age program in the Fox Cities. Fox Cities Greenways has donated the first rickshaw to Brewster Village as part of its initiative to not only increase the use of trails, but make them available to people regardless of age or ability. Brewster Village’s goal is to build a fleet of rickshaws to serve the residents of Brewster Village and the Fox Cities. In future years, the program will expand to include additional rickshaws, locations, and cities in the Fox Valley.
The “We are the World” Blogfest is in its second month of a year-long journey. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts, Peter Nena, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal, Simon Falk, Belinda Witzenhausen and Mary Giese welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time between now and February of 2018.
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