555 bikes from Madison to Ghana through Dane County/Chicago collaboration efforts 

Through a massive collaboration effort between Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison, Wheels for Winners, Dream Bikes, Village Bicycle Project, and Working Bikes in Chicago, over 500 bikes will be loaded into a shipping container on October 27 and 28, 2023 headed for Ghana. The shipping container will start being loaded at the Free Bikes 4 Kidz bike shop from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Friday, October 27. The loading will continue on Saturday, October 28 at 9:00 A.M. until the work is completed.

Working Bikes in Chicago spearheaded this collaborative effort. Working Bikes collects donated bikes from all over Chicago and the Midwest. Their mission is to strengthen local and global communities by giving donated bicycles new life and redistributing them as tools for self-determination. Trevor Clarke, the executive director of Working Bikes, states, “We bring over 10,000 bicycles a year to our warehouse in Chicago, sending them out to folks who need transportation in our community and communities across the globe. We’re thrilled to be collaborating with our friends in Madison to, for the first time, send a container directly from Wisconsin to our partners abroad.”

Bike donations that have been provided to organizations like Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison, Wheels for Winners, and Dream Bikes are bikes that aren’t necessarily great for a Dane County riding environment, but are ideal for roads in Ghana. There, through the work of the Village Bicycle Project, bicycles will provide time-saving transportation that significantly increases access to income, health and education.

Group photos after filling the shipping container for Ghana

Kristie GoForth, executive director of Free Bikes 4 Kidz said that, “We’ve had an excellent partnership with Working Bikes for years. They send bikes to adults all over the world, and we give bikes to kids locally. Sometimes, we trade bikes to make sure recipients receive bikes best suited for their environments. While big box full suspension bikes might not be great for Wisconsin riding, they’re just what the folks in Ghana love.

“Our teamwork with Working Bikes has shipped bikes from Dane County to places like El Salvador and Malawi, especially after being devastated by cyclones. With the support of Dane County’s generous contributions, it’s incredible to see that we are able to provide approximately 2,000 bikes locally each year, while also extending our reach internationally to countries in need.”

On October 27 and 28, volunteers from all over the midwest will descend on the Free Bikes 4 Kidz bike shop to load the shipping containers for Ghana. If you are interested in helping, please show up for any amount of time between 8:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M on Friday, October 27.

The shipping container is expected to arrive in Ghana around December 10, 2023.

About Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison 

Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison is a 501c3 nonprofit that held its first bike giveaway in spring 2017. We are on a mission to provide bikes to individuals in Dane County who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them. By the end of 2023, they will have distributed over 10,000 bikes in Dane County. Through our efforts, we aim to promote healthy living, environmental consciousness, and transportation equity.