Volunteers needed for the ‘Free wheels 4 kids’ Christmas project

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 4:26 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -At the Reno Bike Project East 4th Street facility, repairmen take donated bikes and fix them. The bikes may need gears, tires, or chains. Extra parts are taken from formerly donated bikes whose second life was not to be.

As Christmas approaches there will be a shift in gears.

Volunteers and paid staff will get together over several Saturdays and Wednesday nights to repair bikes donated to the “Free Wheels 4 Kids” Christmas Project.

“It is definitely under-served communities,” says Andy Perkins with the Reno Bike Project. “We make sure they are going to kids who need the bikes and don’t have access to them otherwise.”

For 17 years the Reno Bike Project has asked the community for used children’s bikes so they and volunteers can fix them and have them in the hands of needy kids by Christmas.

So that’s their first ask: donations of used bikes or for those who don’t have kids, a new kid’s bike that probably needs to be assembled.

Back at the shop, there are two piles, those bikes to be rehabilitated--with parts taken from bikes in the other pile which are on their last legs.

The second ask: volunteers who can help repair the used bikes, or for those with no mechanical experience, how about filling up tires and shining up the bike once it’s done with repairs?

“Anyone who wants to help we can find a place for them down here,” says Perkins.

Perkins says they’d like to collect well over 200 bikes this year in time for Christmas. That means they’ll need volunteers to get those bikes ready for kids whose dreams of a bike this holiday season are out of reach. For those who can’t volunteer or buy a new bike, The Reno Bike Project suggests lights, a helmet, a bike lock, or training wheels.

If that’s not possible, how about a monetary donation?

For more information: renobikeproject.org