As we head into our 4th year at ReCycles, we would have never thought we would be in this successful a position. In the past 3 years we have given away 3000 bikes, and taken in over 5000 bikes as donations. We have been the recipients of generous grants from the City of McKinney, and have newly formed donation partnerships with the Plano Christmas Cops, CASA, The Samaritan Inn, and several other need based organizations here in Collin County. We continue to be thankful for the partnerships with local bike shops like Plano Cycling and Fitness in Plano, Bikes Plus in Allen, Performance Bikes in Plano, Richardson Bike Mart in Frisco, and Cadence Cyclery in McKinney. All of which continue to serve as drop/donation points for us.
A group of 12 volunteers worked from 6:30AM to 12:00 Noon on Saturday, August 10th fixing and repairing over 75 bicycles for the McKinney community. The event was scheduled from 8:00AM to Noon, but the first bike showed up at 7:15AM, and we got started. By 11:00AM we had run out of tires, tubes, and grips.
Within 30 days during March two very exciting things happened for us. First, ReCycles McKinney was the recipient of a $5000 grant from the McKinney Community Development Corporation (http://mckinneycdc.org/). This goes directly to fund tools and equipment for our recycling center.
We are off and running for 2013. Or should I say off and cycling! In any case, we have a goal in 2013 to give away 1000 bikes. To get us started, Chase Oaks Church (http://www.chaseoaks.org/) had a donation weekend and we collected 67 bikes.
One thing that we have wanted to do is be able to identify the ReCycles McKinney bikes at various giveaways, and to a certain extent determine if some of the bikes ever come back to us.
A big thanks to Advantage Storage for coming on board to support our cause. They are providing us a storage unit for us to accumulate bikes before we give them all away. As Rich pointed out, we give away 1 bike for every 2.5 we receive. That means we need more space than either of us have available for all of the bikes. Advantage is a McKinney based company with storage units all over the Metroplex. Check them out if you need extra space for you goodies:
On Saturday, Randy and I were culling bikes in the storage unit to organize current inventory, remove the junk, and scavenge for parts. Along the way he asked me, “How many bikes do you think we have worked on?” I did a little envelope math and over the past two years I estimate we have given away between 250 to 300 bikes. While this may seem to be a big number, the bigger question would be, “How many bikes does it take to generate those giveaways?” For that, I would estimate we run about a 2.5:1 ratio of bikes that come in to bikes that go out. While this may beg the question, “What happens to the other bikes?” They are not wasted, not by any means. Every bike that comes in have value. Some are good for scavenging parts, other are good for their weight in recyclable metal where the funds go back into RCM. Every donated bike has value.
On Saturday, November 17, 2012, ReCycles McKinney gave away 72 bicycles as a part of the community garage sale. This garage sale is a “no cost” garage sale where local community members come in and choose what they need. In our case, there were 72 bicycles to choose from.
As a new non-profit organization, we were lucky to get free entry to the Interbike show this year in Las Vegas, held during the week of September 17th. This is the “largest annual gathering of the bicycle industry in North America”.
We’re getting ready to head to Interbike this week in Las Vegas! Our mission will be to find cheap sources of bike gear that will be valuable to give back to the community.