We’re excited to announce our continued support of 88bikes, a micro-philanthropy project that gives bikes to kids in developing countries, and their upcoming endowment of 200 bikes and a sustainable bike shop to the Navajo Nation.
Here at Osprey, we first pledged our support for the organization in 2010, when we raised $2,500 for the Navajo endowment through sales of our Raptor hydration packs at Interbike Dirt Demo, with 100% of the proceeds going to 88bikes.
This year, we plan to repeat our successful fundraiser at the Interbike Dirt Demo. In addition, we will recruit employees and friends to volunteer at repair and maintenance clinics for the bike recipients, and help lead the kids on a local bike tour. Additionally, we’re honored and excited to help launch 88bikes’ first sustainable bike shop, to be located in the Navajo Nation.
“Many of our original team members are Navajo, so this is a very special project to us,” said Jeff Fox bike marketing manager at Osprey. “We are thrilled to help bring the happiness and freedom that a bike provides to kids in our own backyard. We look forward to staying involved in other facets of this inspirational project, from bike training and rides to launching the sustainable bike shop.”
On May 3, 2011, 200 young people attending the Whitehorse High School in Montezuma Creek on the Navajo Nation will be given their bikes at the “Moment of Happy.” As part of the endowment, they will also receive the training to maintain them, and have the opportunity to take a guided bike tour with Osprey team members through the southwest desert.
Additionally, 88bikes will unveil their first sustainable 88bikeshop, made entirely from locally-foraged materials, including the hoods of junked cars. Portable and elegant, with ample workspace for workshops and clinics, it will be located in Montezuma Creek.
“We are very grateful to Osprey for their continued support of our mission and of the children of the Navajo Nation,” said Dan Austin, co-founder of 88bikes. “We can’t wait for Osprey team members and the kids of Montezuma Creek to hop on their bikes and head off for a ride together!”
The Navajo Nation endowment is part of VILLAGES, 88bikes’ fifth and biggest project to date with additional endowments in Mongolia, Mozambique, South Africa and Nicaragua. The goal of the VILLAGES project is to distribute 1,000 new bikes to local children. To date, 940 bikes have been sponsored through donations of $88 per bike. 88bikes also plan to set up four to five bike shop “hubs” serving these rural communities and establish bike shop apprenticeships and workshops for each location.
Welcome to Pedaling Change! There’s a lot of good work being done in the world of bikes, to alternative transportation advocacy to international development. To highlight some of the great action that’s going on out there, once a month we’ll be profiling a non-profit in the bike world to look at just how they’re working to make positive change.
“You can go anywhere.”
Dedicated to providing bikes to young people in developing countries, 88Bikes is certainly built on the idea of empowerment. Remember the feeling you had the first time you successfully pedaled around by yourself? That sense of freedom? Imagine bringing that sense of freedom and exhilaration to communities that have been challenged by obstacels such as war, poverty, disease and conflict. You can imagine the joy that a bike can bring.
Another key component of 88Bikes is that the organization is focused on one-to-one philanthropy, empowering not only the recipient, but the donor as well. $88 covers the approximate cost of a bike in developing countries, and donors are not only asked to provide a photo of themselves to accompany their bike, but even encouraged to take part in volunteer trips to hand deliver bikes to the donation sites, making the donation process come full circle.
Founded only 4 years ago, 88Bikes has already a long list of accomplishments. They’ve delivered bikes to Peru, Cambodia, Mongolia and Uganda and they’re currently working on their 88Bikes Villages project which will reach out to children in rural locations. Over 700 bikes have been donated, and even after a quick look at some of the organization’s photos of smiling and laughing children on their new bikes, it’s easy to see why using sustainable transportation to empower youth is such a powerful thing.
We caught up with one of 88Bikes’ founders, Dan Austin, to learn a little more about the organization and the work they’re doing.
What have some of 88bikes’ biggest accomplishments over the last year been?
Getting bikes into the hands of kids who’ve been through really difficult challenges, in really rural areas, has been very fulfilling. Kids who’ve survived slavery in rural India, Ghana, Nepal and elsewhere are now using bikes to help reconnect with some of the lost fragments of their childhood. To see these heroic kids who’ve been through so much smile wide and take off on their new rides, that’s a good feeling.