Westfield Rotary Club volunteers will accept donations of used, adult's and children's bicycles and sewing machines at the Board of Education Administration Building, 302 Elm Street on October 9 from 9 a.m. to noon. Rotary's 15th annual bike recycling drive is being done in partnership with Pedals for Progress. The charitable group, based in High Bridge, was awarded Shell International Sustainable Development Award this year by England's Royal Geographical Society.
Bicycles must be assembled and in good or "repairable" condition. For each bike, a donation of $10 will be sought to help pay the high cost of shipping the bikes to non-profit distributors in the developing world. All cash and goods donated are tax-deductible. A receipt will be available at the drop off site.
Recycling American bikes for use by farmers, tradesmen, mothers and other working adults in poor countries produces immediate gains in employment and economic self-sufficiency for their families.
Westfield's used-bike collection is being managed for the 15th consecutive year by Rotarian Warren Rorden, a lifetime reident. Westfield's Rotary Club is one of 11 in New Jersey that sponsors a bike collection site and shipping container in partnership with Pedals for Progress (www.p4p.org). The non-profit group was founded in 1991 by former Peace Corps volunteer David Schweidenbeck. He now leads hundreds of volunteers who run bike collections and container-loading parties with 111 community partners in nine states, from North Carolina to Vermont.
During 2009, Pedals for Progress donated bicycles, sewing machines and approximately $600,000 in parts and accessories to 10 non-profit agency partners in eight developing countries. Upon arrival, bikes are reconditioned by local, non-profit agencies and distributed at low-income to poor working adults. The total of donated goods shipped since 1991 is now 125,000 bicycles and 220 sewing machines and $8 million in bike parts.
For further information, contact Warren Rorden at 908-232-6807.