It’s a simple concept: you’ve got bikes you no longer need. We know people who need them. Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison is geared toward helping all people ride into a happier, healthier life by providing bikes to historically excluded communities in southern Wisconsin.
We’re striving towards transportation equity and deepening meaningful relationships with communities of color and low income populations in Dane County, Milwaukee County, Rock County, and Racine County. As an added bonus, we keep thousands of bikes out of the landfill by repurposing them into rideable bikes.
We’ve now given away over 8,200 bikes to new bike owners who may have never had the opportunity to experience the joys of owning their own bike. Since we give bikes to other nonprofits and schools, this includes 124 organizations that have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in free bikes. Our operation depends solely on grants, financial donations from individuals and corporations, and donations of gently used bikes that are no longer needed.
It costs about $150 for us to give our complete bike package to a kid. This includes a newly refurbished bike, a helmet, combo lock, headlight, taillight, and a pump. The $150 covers bike parts, paying our mechanics a livable wage, renting our workshop, purchasing helmets, locks, headlights, and marketing our program so we can continue to receive donations and support.
A LOOK AT OUR NUMBERS
2017 – 1,000 bikes to nonprofits and schools in Dane County
2018 – 1,100 bikes to nonprofits and schools in Dane County
2019 – 1,500 bikes to nonprofits and schools in Dane County
2020 – 1,000 bikes to kids and frontline workers working entry level positions
2021 – 2,021 bikes to nonprofits and schools in Dane County
2022 – 1,800+ bikes to nonprofits and schools in southern Wisconsin
8,249 lives impacted in Dane County since our first giveaway in 2017.
Mission & Vision
Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison is geared toward helping all people ride into a happier, healthier life by providing bikes to historically excluded communities and those facing severe financial challenges in southern Wisconsin.
We’re striving towards transportation equity and deepening meaningful relationships with communities of color and low income populations in southern Wisconsin.
Every year 25 million bikes are sold in the US. One-third of those bikes are 20” wheel-size or smaller. Since kids grow like weeds, over 8 million bikes are outgrown each year. Endless supply=sustainability.
Distributing thousands of bikes is a challenge so we partner with other nonprofits who are already serving area youth. They vet our recipients to ensure we’re serving those most in need. We give bikes to them and they help us distribute.
The FB4K Madison program calendar:
September–March is bike donation season.
January–April is bike repair season.
*April–May is bike giveaway season.
*We do not have bikes to giveaway outside of the April/May giveaway season.
Stay in touch by signing up for our e-news at FB4KMadison.org at the bottom of our home page!
Volunteers are needed September through June. No experience is necessary. We gladly accept financial donations year-round. Donations can be made through our website or checks can be made out to FB4K Madison and mailed to PO Box 6594, Madison, WI 53716.
We give bikes to nonprofits, schools, and community centers in Dane County and southern Wisconsin who are already serving area youth. Organizations can apply to receive bikes on our website. The best time to apply is January-February.
The annual program consists of 3 main stages:
- The Bike Collection – We collect as many bikes as possible in one morning at the very beginning of the season. This is done by having drop-off locations spread around the city and coordinating a volunteer effort to collect the bikes in U-Haul trucks and bring them to our central warehouse location.
- The Bicycle Repair Season – Over the next 10 weeks, we bring in hundreds of volunteers to help us CLEAN, PREP, AND TUNE every single bike before it’s given away to a kid. Individuals can register for volunteer shifts through THIS LINK. We love having corporate teams volunteer (employers, faith groups, business groups, etc.)! Groups of 4-8 people are ideal. Email us to schedule your corporate team building experience.
- The Giveaway! – We giveaway all of the bikes over several weekends in May. We give bikes to a variety of community partners already working with local youth. Working with our community partners is the only way we can give bikes away. They vet our recipient to ensure need and equity. We cannot give to individuals directly. If you want to receive a bike, be sure to reach out to a local nonprofit organization that you receive services from and request a bike if they are participating.
To date, we’ve given away over 8,281 bikes throughout Dane County and southern Wisconsin to the following organizations:
100 Black Men of Madison, Badger Rock Middle School, Badger Rock Neighborhood Center, Bayview Foundation, BiciClub Latino de Madison, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County, Blackhawk Middle School, Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, Building Bridges, Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School, Centro Hispano, Christ Presbyterian Church, City of Madison Community Development, Common Wealth Development, Dane County Social Services, East High School Club Kiwi & Latino Student Union, Epilepsy Foundation Heart of Wisconsin, Family Stabilization Program, Gompers Elementary, Goodman Community Center, GiGi’s Playhouse, Hmong Language & Culture Enrichment Program, James Madison Memorial School, Jewish Social Services, Kennedy Heights Community Center, KinderReady, Children’s Hospital of WI, LaFollette High School, Lake View Community School, Latino Academy of Workforce Development, Latino Health Council, Latino Nation Verona High School Club, Leopold Community School, Lighthouse Community Church, Lincoln Elementary School, Literacy Network, Lussier Community Education Center, Madison Area Urban Ministry, East Madison Community Center, Madison Metropolitan School District, Mendota Elementary School, Middleton High School, Monroe Morning Optimists, MSCR Frank Allis, MSCR- Meadowood Community Center, Mount Horeb School District, Nehemiah Center, Nuestro Mundo Community School, Omega School, One City Schools, Oregon Youth Center, Packer Townhouses & Community Learning Center, Padres e Hijos en Accion, Porchlight, REACH Dane, Red Caboose Child Care Center, RISE Wisconsin, The River Food Pantry, The Road Home, Salvation Army, Sandburg Elementary School, Schenk Elementary School, Sennett Middle School, Shelter from the Storm, Simpson Street Free Press, Start Stoughton, The Sunshine Place, Tenant Resource Center, Tri 4 Schools, UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence, Vera Court Neighborhood Center, Winnequah Elementary School, YWCA Madison, and these organizations in Racine: Cesar Chavez Community Center, Dr. John Bryant Community Center, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Humble Park Community Center, and Tyler Domer Community Center.
Our Board of Directors and Staff
Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison is driven by a passionate and invested board of directors and staff.
Find out more here.
FB4K Madison has already come so far—but we still need financial support to make it possible for any kid who wants a bike of their own to have one. Email us to get involved! FAQs We’ve done our best to answer the most frequent questions we’ve encountered, but if you’re not finding the answer you’re looking for, feel free to contact us.
We couldn’t do this without the generous help of key partners like:
FB4K Madison has already come so far—but we still need financial support to make it possible for any kid who wants a bike of their own to have one. Email us to get involved!
We’ve done our best to answer the most frequent questions we’ve encountered, but if you’re not finding the answer you’re looking for, feel free to contact us.