In honor of National Bicycle Month, I thought that I would share a bit of Kansas City trivia with you. Did you know there is a nonprofit organization that accepts donated bicycles and recycles (pun intended) them back into the community.
Revolve KC is a local, community bike store that is so much more. According to their website, revolvekc.org , “Revolve acts on the belief that the bicycle is the simple solution for healthy lifestyles and affordable, earth-friendly transportation.”
The co-founders, Elizabeth Bejan and Theresa Van Ackeren, wanted their nonprofit business to be a community bike shop; a place that welcomes and supports all would-be bicycle commuters.
What is unique about this bike shop is that they allow people in need to earn a bicycle for transportation. Most often, transportation is one of the key obstacles that low-income people have to overcome in order to get and maintain a job. Through Revolve KC’s Earn-a-Bike program there are two ways to earn your own bicycle. Participants pay a $10 fee, which helps to cover costs to refurbish a good, quality, used bicycle to commute to work, or school.
One way to earn a bike is to take a free online bike safety course from the League of American Bicyclists. “After successfully completing the online course, participants make arrangements with Revolve staff for the on-bike portion of the course. Youth from a household that are younger that 14 ‘get’ a bike when their parents or older siblings ‘earn’ theirs. Youth older than 10 can join their family for the road test as the discretion of their parents,” the website states.
The second way to earn a bike is to volunteer 10 hours during shop operation hours, at either of their locations, or at bike collection events. In two years of operation, Revolve KC has already distributed bicycles to 417 participants in the Earn-a-Bike program.
Not only do participants in the Earn-a-Bike program receive bicycle safety training, once completed they receive a bicycle and a new bicycle helmet. A good bike helmet can be expensive and the folks at Revolve KC want to ensure that all of their participants are properly protected, so they provide the helmet for them.
Revolve KC readily accepts all types of bikes. If you have a retro, classic, or vintage bicycle, they would love to have your donation. These bicycles sell well and help to fund their organization and the good work they do. Other types of bicycles can be refurbished for the Earn-a-Bike program. They also accept monetary donations to help offset costs of refurbishment in terms of grease, parts, and other consumables. Funds also help to purchase the new helmets given with every bike earned.
This is one GREEN nonprofit in town that I thought you would be interested in knowing about. After all, it seems we all have an unused bicycle in the garage that someone else could really use. What better place to take it to? And so, the cycle continues at Revolve KC.
Reach Lynn Youngblood at TheGreenSpace@sbcglobal.net
5100 Troost Ave, Kansas City 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday
554 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kansas 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday