Several club members were present last week to honor John Risdall and Paul Fournier as they were made Honorary NBMV Rotarians. See photos below.
Today’s meeting was at Bikes4Kids in Ham Lake.  The nonprofit charitable organization is located on a beautiful farm and uses volunteers to accept used bikes, sort them into groups to be (a) cleaned and repaired, (b) sent to Africa, (c) set aside for parts, or (d) recycled. Blaine/Ham Lake Rotarian, Julie Gotham is the only paid employee.
Bikes4Kids receives approximately 6,000 bikes per year, dropped off at the site by individuals or by partners such as Walters Recycling, which had delivered 93 bikes today. Bike shops, including Trailhead, also bring in trailers full of good quality trade-ins they receive. A couple of trailers are left with businesses and people deposit bikes there, too. With as many as 20 volunteers on site some days and others working from home, Bikes4Kids repairs approximately 100 bikes per month for individuals, sends 1,500 – 2,000 each year to Africa, and keeps the rest for parts or to be recycled.

Each bike is made to look and work like new for a specific individual after an on-line request from a vetting organization such as social service agencies, counties, schools or food shelves. The bikes are intended for children and for adults who cannot afford to buy them but need them for transportation. Each bike comes with a helmet, bike locker and safety information. They have a few three-wheeled adult cycles.

Bikes are sorted by gender and size and recorded in a comprehensive inventory which even includes color so they can be easily located in response to very specific requests. They are triaged through a number of structures from receipt till completion. There were hundreds and hundreds of bikes there. You had to be there to understand. It is amazing!

Julie’s parting words of wisdom: “Don’t buy disposable bikes. They are … disposable.”  Julie and President Jason Miller are shown below.

Next  meeting: Tuesday, September 27, noon at The Exchange.