Thursday, February 12, 2009

Working Bikes and Cabrini Connections

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with Raul Gonzalez of Working Bikes Cooperative in their Western Ave warehouse. If you don't already know about Working Bikes, they are a Chicago-based non-profit that takes bikes that would otherwise be thrown away, fixes them up with the help of volunteers, and donates them en masse to charity organizations in developing countries such as Ghana, Angola, Cuba and Guatemala. Each year they give away over 5000 bikes! They can afford to do this because they sell some of the bikes they fix up out of their Western Ave store (1125 S Western) to fund their humanitarian mission.

BAJILLIONS OF BIKES IN THEIR WAREHOUSE!!!!!

Though I am a big fan of Working Bikes, I wasn't there just to hang out with Raul and check the place out, I went to discuss a project Raul and I have been discussing, a way for Working Bikes to help us provide incentives for our kids to get more involved in our various enrichment activities, including our Clubs, Essay Contests, eLearning curricula and other leadership activities. They have agreed to donate bikes to all students who earn more than 400 points this quarter. This special reward was designed to capitalize on kids' excitement for the coming spring and desire to have a set of wheels they can use to explore their neighborhood, go visit friends, come to Cabrini Connections...etc. All students who earn a bike will also receive a free helmet and lock.

The points I mentioned can be earned through a student's participation in all the above activities in addition to attendence and receiving good marks on their report cards. Besides making students eligible for a FREE BIKE this quarter, points are converted to cash upon each student's graduation from High School. In this way, students can earn their own scholarship, to be used however they wish, it's their money!

Therefore we just wanted to take the opportunity to recognize Working Bikes for all the great things they do for organizations both domestic and abroad! Thanks! and keep up the great work!

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