Over the last three years, Second Chance Bikes has provided over 1,200 folks in need with reliable, safe bikes at no cost. We've also provided over 500 affordable bikes to the Charleston community, hosted countless free repair pop-ups, taught hundreds of volunteers how to fix bikes, and diverted thousands of bikes from the landfill.
During this time, we've learned that not only do folks use our bikes for transportation and to meet their basic needs independently, but they also enjoy a number of physical and mental health benefits that come with bike ownership. People are breathing better, sleeping better, feeling more connected to others, and experiencing an overall increase in well-being when they have a bike.
Here are a few snippets from conversations with folks who have received bikes from us that explain how their bikes have improved their lives:
"Five days a week, I ride my bike a mile to the bus stop and put my bike on the bus. When I get off, I ride for another four or five miles to get to work. And I do the same to get back. If it wasn't for the bike, I'd be stuck with walking. There's no way I'd be able to have this job without my bike."
"Since getting my bike, I am more energetic and positive. I feel more upbeat because my physical health has improved, and that makes me want to go out, instead of just sitting inside the house."
"I ride my bike and just get things off of my mind. A lot of times when I'm home, I feel suicidal, and stuff like that. But then I just get on my bike, just ride, and it changes my mind."
But through these conversations, we've also learned that many folks are struggling with getting their bikes serviced when the inevitable happens. Tires get punctured, chains get rusty, wheels get stolen, and brake pads get worn out from daily use.
This is why we are beyond excited to be moving to a new, more central location that is easily accessible by bus and by foot. This new spot will allow us to provide repairs to the folks that need it most- whether they got their bike from us or not. We'll also host free repair classes and open shop hours where folks can learn the skills they need to keep themselves rolling.
But this move and our new location are going to be costly. We've worked tirelessly over the last few years to build up our funds to make this happen, but our operating expenses are about to increase drastically.
This means that we need your help now more than ever before.
Without your support, it's unlikely that we will be able to last more than six months at our new location. Considering how difficult it was for us to find this new space (more affordable than anything else we found AND a perfect location), it's very possible that we will have to close up shop entirely if we can't start off on a strong foot in our new location.
During this season of giving, we ask that you please donate generously and also consider making a reoccurring donation. If the cost of a dinner out each month doesn't make or break the bank for you, then it could be the contribution that allows us to continue doing what we do best- keeping folks rolling toward a brighter future!