The Union Recorder

November 28, 2012

Program puts old bikes to good use

Felicia Cummings
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Recycling and charity work hand in hand in Baldwin County. 

Milledgeville Cares, the Milledgeville Fire Department and local business Oconee Outfitters will host a Bike Re “Cycle” project to teach bicycle repair and maintenance in order to provide bicycles for those in need. Two days of work on the bikes have been scheduled in conjunction with the project — Monday, Nov. 12 and Monday, Dec. 10. Repair work on the bicycles is planned for 7 to 9 p.m. at the Milledgeville Fire Department on W. Thomas Street. 

The first Monday of repair work started out with great enthusiasm from the volunteers. 

"We had around eight volunteers show up the other day, excited and ready to do some work,” said Lt. Greg Hood of the Milledgeville Fire Department. 

Hood is no stranger to the program. 

According to Hood, the Milledgeville Fire Department, along with the help of various volunteers, managed to repair more than 100 bicycles last year. 

“We've already started getting some repaired and we've got them in storage, waiting for them to get assigned to a family." Hood said. 

Novices when it comes to bicycle repair who still want to volunteer their time, can get expert help from Oconee Outfitter's Adam Heagy. Repair participants are also given the opportunity to purchase bicycle tools for themselves, if desired.  

Milledgeville Cares, a nonprofit organization, pays for the parts used to repair the bikes that have been donated to the program. 

“There are many in our community who benefit from this project. Those who have no transportation to get to jobs, or interview for them, are in desperate need, and many families who cannot afford bikes for Christmas are grateful for this service,” said Louise Sallstrom, founder of Milledgeville Cares.  

Donations of new and used bikes, including bike parts, are always needed. Donations can be made at any time and can be dropped off at the Milledgeville Fire Department. 

"When a bicycle becomes unusable, people rarely think of ways of recycling it," Sallstrom said. "Why not put the bicycle to good use and help out a family in need instead of throwing it away?" 

Financial donations for bike parts are also greatly appreciated. For more information about volunteering for the second bike repair work day, call Milledgeville Cares at (478) 457-5311.

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