My primary market for refurbished bikes is people who are homeless, whether utilizing nightly shelters or in transitional housing. Most have or are looking for jobs.
I also work with a refugee resettlement agency to supply bikes to arriving refugees who don't yet have driver's license or car. Through that work I have met several refugee families and supplied bikes to some adults and lots of kids.
I have become fast friends with one particular family who escaped the Syrian civil war under fire several years ago. They are all five delightful people. I've supplied bikes, made repairs. Through them I met another family, immigrants from Jordan 8 years ago. They have had a very rough go of it the past couple of years. Dad abandoned after a restraining order was granted, leaving her with no job, four kids ages 3-13 and no child support. I've helped with a number of things, filling out aid applications, etc. I've supplied bikes there too, found her a job.
I got a text one time from 10yr old after fixing his bike while he was at school. He got home, tried it, and wrote me "I don't have a dad but you are like a dad to our family. You help my mom and me and always respond quickly when we need something." 4yr old has twice called me "dad."
This is an awesome responsibility. There is no way I am filling a proper dad role. And yet I'm the best they've got.
She had assistance with rent until June; since then can only pay partial. She got a formal eviction warning. I persuaded landlord to give us time, as we were working a plan. So far he's being patient.
So here's the thing: she's doing all the right things; started working in evenings October 1; the little one started early childhood edu Nov 4, will soon start daycare after school. Then Mom can work daytime, more hours. In Jan she will try to find better paying job. This one has been perfect for her first ever job; people are wonderful. She's going to make it. I am confident in her; she has weathered these awful times cheerfully, always the gracious hostess. She brought me flowers to thank me for getting her the job.
I want to pay the landlord the $3600 she owes, and give her a litle extra to spend for Christmas, school clothes, whatever.
If you care to assist it will be much appreciated. I'm trying this in lieu of setting up a GoFundMe. I'm not looking for much and have this infrastructure already. All donated funds through this page will go to build a $4000 kitty; I'll take the page down if/when that is achieved.
I am not setting up a separate Paypal account for this effort, so the funds will go into my SecondChanceBikes paypal account. Click "add special instructions to the seller" and put a comment it is for the Christmas Project. Paypal sends me a notice when a donation is received, with email address of donor. I'll refund any over $4k
If you prefer to donate directly to the family, there is a link below to an Amazon Wish List. All it has on it is an Amazon gift card - you decide what value to purchase. Select deliver by mail and it will send the card to their home. Her name will be visible to you but not address. If you select 'this is a gift' you can include a note and she will see your name and email address or you can just have it mailed anonymously. there are four children; you could opt to send 4 gift cards or just one for Mom to dole out.
This is less structured than GFM and I realize there is an element here of "just trust me." I hope you will. This is my way of fighting back at the Stephen Millers of the world.
Make Emma Lazarus Great Again!
Don Cooley, aka @frogcycle
The "Donate" button below will process PayPal or major charge card donations.
Note: We are not a 501(c)(3) charity.