It’s no secret that those of us who love Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison think the work being done is nothing short of amazing. But not everyone is aware of what we are doing, how we are making an impact in peoples’ lives in southern Wisconsin, and how much a bicycle is worth, both in value and how it enriches the lives of those in need. And many don’t realize that we give bikes to ALL people, not just kidz.
Our bikes are used by people who may not be able to afford a car. This means, they have a healthier, more sustainable, and more convenient way to get to work. They are used by kidz who use them to get to school, to their first jobs, to get them off screens and outside recreating, and to increase their social opportunities by making friends with those in their neighborhoods who spend the day biking. Nobody likes being left out and our bikes allow those whose families cannot afford one for them, to have the same opportunities as others.
The benefits of these lean, green transportation machines are many. They help kidz build confidence and coordination, gain freedom and independence, and create access to opportunities like a first job, or hanging out with other friends who bike.
For adults, they are a vehicle to get to work, get to school, or run errands. They are therapy as a way to get exercise and improve mental health through stress relieving rides on our beautiful trail systems.
We held our first bike giveaway in spring of 2017. Now, five years later, we’ve increased our giveaway numbers to approximately 2,000 given away each year. We’ve developed the full bike package as a part of our giveaways which includes helmets, headlights, taillights, locks, and pumps so they can ride safely and whenever they need to. And all of this work has been accomplished through the help of an incredible community of donors, volunteers, and supporters.
We’re now embarking on our quest to find our forever home in the Madison area. At present, we change locations from year to year by finding an empty big box store. Finding space every fall has become unsustainable and an enormous challenge. It also creates confusion because donors do not know where we are located from year to year. If we can find our forever home, donors can drop bikes year round and will greatly increase our giveaway numbers.
We’d love to have our space located off the Beltline for easy access for our donors. We serve the south side neighborhoods heavily so this location could be greatly beneficial as we create a south side gathering space immersed in the biking lifestyle. We are seeking a warehouse space or space with concrete floors, big overhead garage doors, and a space to work on bikes. Former auto shops or distribution buildings could be ideal.
If you are a property owner that wants more information or to talk about our needs, please send an email to our executive director, Kristie Goforth, or give us a call at (608) 444-8641.
Donations are what makes our work possible. So financial donations are critical to our program and greatly appreciated. Click the donate button to make a financial donation online. If you prefer to send a check, you can mail it to FB4K Madison, PO Box 6594, Madison, WI 53716.
If you would like to be a part of this amazing work, we recruit volunteers September through May. Be sure to sign up for our e-news alerts to receive the calls for volunteers. To sign up, scroll to the bottom of our website and enter your email address in the subscribe field.