FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 24, 2020
Madison, WI – On Friday, April 24, Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison announced its new executive director, Kristie Goforth Schilling. Schilling will succeed the organization’s founding executive director, Andy Quandt.
Free Bikes 4 Kidz (FB4K) Madison began in 2016 as the 4th affiliate organization in the Free Bikes 4 Kidz family. The flagship organization started in a Minnesota garage in 2008, where founder Terry Esau gave away 250 bikes. Today, his crew gives away more than 7,000 each year. It’s a simple concept: you have bikes you no longer need. Free Bikes for Kidz knows kids and families who do.
FB4K Madison has given away over 3,000 bikes in the Madison area over the past four years by working with partner organizations like Badger Rock Middle School & Neighborhood Center, BiciClub Latino de Madison, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County, Centro Hispano Health Wellness, Christ Presbyterian Church, East High School Latino Student Union, Epilepsy Foundation Heart of WI, Goodman Community Center, Hmong Culture Enrichment Program, Jewish Social Services, Kennedy Heights Community Center, Latino Academy of Workforce Development, Latino Health Council, Latino Nation Verona High School Club, Lussier Community Education Center, Madison Area Urban Ministry, Madison East-Side Community Center, Madison Metropolitan School District, Middleton High School, Monroe Morning Optimists, Madison School & Community Recreation, Nuestro Mundo Community School, Omega School, Packer Community Learning Center, Padres e Hijos en Accion, Red Caboose, RISE Wisconsin, Simpson Street Free Press, The Sunshine Place, Tri 4 Schools, UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence, Vera Court Neighborhood Center, and many others. The organization is planning its next bike giveaway when the stay at home order is lifted.
Peter Gray, Board Chair, stated, “We’re grateful to Andy for four years of energetic leadership that grew Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison from an idea into the solid, proven program it is now. And we’re so excited about Kristie’s hire. Kristie has the passion and talent to grow FB4K Madison and carry forward its vision that every kid deserves a bike.”
Andy Quandt added, “I’m forever grateful for the hard work, support and dedication from our volunteers, donors, staff and board that helped bring this program into the Madison area. After three successful seasons, and a fourth put on temporary hold, it’s clear that Madison families need bicycles and FB4K can provide them. Looking forward, FB4K Madison needs a leader who can take this program to the next level, solidifying it’s place in our community, ensuring that all families have access to bicycles. With her insatiable passion for cycling, and impressive record in nonprofit leadership, it’s clear that Kristie is ideal for the job.”
Schilling commented that, “Andy has setup an incredible foundation for Free Bikes 4 Kidz. I look forward to nurturing the relationships he’s established and developing new ones. The key to this organization is not only bicycle donations, but raising funds so we can continue to help kids discover the excitement of having their first bike. The mission is so relevant for today—FB4K positively contributes to greater health and wellness, to the climate crisis, and bridges equality and access for bicycles for people from all income levels.”
FB4K Madison is creating a sustainable supply of bicycles for all kids by collecting extra bikes from the community, refurbishing the donated bikes with the help of volunteers and giving them back through a diverse network of organizations working with area youth. FB4K’s goal is to help every child feel the joys and freedom of riding their first bike. If you’d like to donate, volunteer, or learn more, please contact Free Bikes 4 Kidz through their website at fb4kmadison.org or call (608) 444-8641.