Groups can make good use of old bikes
We have some kids' bikes that we no longer need and would like to donate them to somebody who can use them. Do you know of a nonprofit that maybe refurbishes bikes and gives them to kids who can't afford to get one?
Answer: We have two suggestions: Waialua High and Intermediate School's Workplace Readiness Class and Kokua Kalihi Valley's K-VIBE (Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange).
For the first, call instructor Randall Erice at the school, 637-8200, ext. 307, to arrange a drop-off, preferably, or a pickup. Donations are tax-deductible. The school's address is 67-160 Farrington Highway.
Students in Erice's class refurbish bicycles, giving most of them back to the community. Currently, there are about 20 repaired bicycles ready to be used again, he said.
The bicycles are usually given out during the holidays to needy children via the North Shore News, Erice said.
K-VIBE, sponsored by the nonprofit Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, opened in 2005. Its mission is to promote bicycles as part of healthy and active lifestyles.
It is particularly interested in at-risk youths, but basically anyone can benefit from the program, said Chris Blumenstetter, program manager.
"The idea is that anybody who wants to use a bicycle for an alternate form of transportation or just for exercise can come in" and get a bike by putting in a little sweat equity, he said.
Participants are asked to put in a minimum amount of time in helping to repair a bike, usually three to four hours.
"Typically when bicycles come to us, they are broken, so they do need to be worked on," he said.
In addition to explaining bicycle safety, Blumenstetter will teach people how to fix the bikes.
Youngsters, especially, are encouraged to put in some time.
"It gives them a little bit of equity in (the bikes) so it's not just a handout -- they're putting their heart and soul in them," he said.
Recipients have to pay the cost of registering the bike with the city, but after that "it is basically free," Blumenstetter said.
People also are encouraged to bring in and repair their own broken bikes.
Some bikes also are donated to the community.
Last Christmas, for example, a Boy Scout troop helped repair 30 children's bicycles, which were then donated to children in the Kalihi Valley community, Blumenstetter said.
Also, when "nicer bikes" are donated, Blumenstetter said he will personally fix, then resell them. In those cases, "all the money goes back into the shop to buy tools and supplies," he said.
Tax-deductible donations can be dropped off at K-VIBE, 1638 Kamehameha IV Road, from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays or from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
If you don't care about getting a tax deduction, just drop the bikes off in front of the shop.
Call 791-9480 for more information.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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