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Gifting at Christmas holds a special kind of magic. Not only does it bring joy to the receiver, but also to the giver as well.
But have you ever thought that it also has the power to promote sustainability, contributing to a greener and healthier future, as well as drastically improving the life of someone in need? To gift a bike for Christmas is a wonderful thing to do and can have a huge positive impact on the livelihood of others.
With over an estimated 38 million bikes currently unused in the UK, a proportion of them, at least, should be put to good use. Let’s explore 5 ways to donate bikes to make a big difference this Christmas season.
Why Christmas Bicycle Donations Are Magic
Bicycle donations during Christmas are more than just a simple act of giving. They have the power to transform lives and help those in need. They can genuinely make a real difference to someone’s life, however it’s destined to be used.
For example, consider the impact on a person who can’t afford to run a car but lives within a cycling distance commute to work. The gift of a bike has the potential to provide financial security, as well as a sustainable means of transport.
They can be an excellent gift for kids. Gifting a bike to a child can ignite a life-long habit of exercise and an incomparable sense of independence and fun.
Gifting a whole bicycle isn’t the only way of donating. You could also consider gifting accessories, such as helmets or lights, promoting and encouraging road safety for cyclists. Almost anything bike-related can be used well, even if it is no longer valuable to you.
How to Donate a Bicycle at Christmas
If you’ve got an unused bike or parts at home, or if you’ve got the means to donate a new one, here’s a quick guide on 5 ways to donate a bicycle at Christmas.
- Research. Look in your area for local organizations, charities, bike shops, and associations that accept bicycle donations. There might also be bike drives specifically at this time of year. If in doubt, you can always research on the internet.
- Look at the bikes you already have. Are you using them? Are they in good working condition? If not, do you have the means to repair them or, better still, to take them to a specialist to have them checked? If you’ve got the time, clean them as well while you’re at it.
- Look at the accessories you already have. If you’ve recently bought a new helmet, why not donate your old one? (If it’s permitted). If you’ve got an extra set of lights or a hi-vis jacket, why not donate them too?
- Consider donating a new bike. A Christmas bicycle donation doesn’t have to be a used one. If you’ve got the means to buy a new one to donate, why not do that? This doesn’t have to be an expensive bicycle, you can find them at all price points.
- Encourage friends to do the same. Do you know what’s better than one donated bike? Two. Spread the word, tell your friends about your experience, and encourage people to give to those in need at this wonderful time of year.
Donate an Old Bike
If you plan on donating an old bike, you can do a couple of things. Try to make sure the bike is in good working order. Some charities will also repair them, but this increases their workload and costs. If you can repair it yourself, this is a great option.
Secondly, why not give your old bike a clean? It is a gift after all. A little elbow grease and a few cleaning products could turn an old bicycle into someone’s treasure.
There’s a need for old bikes worldwide, from supplying refugees with sustainable transport to offering mechanical training to prison employees, reforming and improving their skillset.
Donate a New Bike
With donating a new bike, the process is a little different but more or less the same. A great way to start is to speak to the association you want to donate to and ask them which type of bicycle they are in most need of. This way, you can find a bike that suits your budget and their needs.
A new bike can be used for many different purposes, such as to commute, to exercise, or even to give a feeling of independence. By establishing the recipient’s needs, you can find a new bike for sale that suits everyone.
Whilst there are plenty of affordable new bikes available, there’s also the option to buy a second hand bike with the intention of donating it. For this, speak to your local bike shop and explain your intentions in order to see if there are any available.
Where to Gift a Bike in the UK
Here’s a list of some of the places to gift your bike in the UK:
- Halfords: The retail giant has over 70 stores across the UK, and their ‘Re-Cycle’ program manages bike donations. Simply drop your used bike in the store. Bicycles donated to Halfords are usually shipped to rural communities in Africa.
- Sue Ryder: The Sue Ryder charity takes bike donations in selected shops across the UK. Donated bikes are repaired in prisons, allowing inmates to gain new skills and qualifications before being sold at an affordable price. The proceeds go to the charity. Find out where you can donate here.
- The Bike Project: The Bike Project takes second-hand bikes, fix them, and donate them to refugees and people seeking asylum in London and Birmingham.
- Recyke y’bike: Recyke y’bike is a charity in the North East of England that specializes in refurbishing bikes to sell and fund charitable objectives and outreach activities.
- Back 2 Bikes: B2B is a bicycle recycling charity based in Stafford that trains people to refurbish bikes. The bikes are subsequently sold from as little as £15 to those in need.
- Wheels for Wellbeing: Gift a bike by donating money. While you are unlikely to have a disused inclusive cycle to donate, you can donate cash (or your time) to Wheels for Wellbeing. This charity aims to remove the barriers to cycling for thousands of disabled children and adults across the UK.
These are just a few of the organizations across the UK involved in bicycle donation. If you’re wondering, ‘how do I give my bike to charity?’, researching these organisations is a great way to inspire you.
Where to Gift a Bike in the USA
Here’s a list of charitable organisations in the USA that are involved in bicycle donations during the Christmas season.
- Bikes for the World: Bikes for the World is an organization that accepts bicycle donations through participating bike shops across Maryland and Virginia. The bikes (and e-bikes!) are donated all over the world as well as domestically. The organization also creates employment opportunities, for example, in Madagascar, where donated bikes are reconditioned and sold.
- Free Bikes 4 Kids: FB4K is an organization that accepts kids bikes in all conditions to be redistributed within communities. Currently, they accept donations in over 20 states.
- World Bicycle Relief: World Bicycle Relief is an organisation that aims to empower communities with life-changing bicycles. Currently, they’re only accepting financial contributions, but these contribute to bicycle donations worldwide.
- Bike Works: Seattle based organisation Bike Works takes bike donations for their social enterprise. All bikes and many types of parts are accepted.
- Salvation Army: With the Salvation Army, some branches across the USA, such as in Rochester, NY, accept bikes and can even arrange a pick-up.
Gift a Bike for Christmas Near Me
There are many ways to find bicycle donation centres and charities near you. A quick search on google or a check in with your local bike shop can easily connect you to those collecting bikes. You might even find grassroots movements or individuals who are in need.
By gifting a bike during Christmas, you aren’t just giving an object – you’re providing freedom, a sustainable (and affordable) form of transport, a source of exercise and ultimately of fun. There’s few things more magic at Christmas time than giving these things to someone in need.