Now is as good a time as any to dig up that dusty old cruiser hanging from the ceiling of your garage or to rummage through your storage unit for that mountain bike you got last Christmas, but never really used, and donate them to someone who actually needs a decent mode of transportation.
Hilary Kyle, who works for MHALA and helped organize the event, explained, “I am a frequent bike rider myself and have seen the tremendous difference a bicycle makes in the life of a person experiencing homelessness.”
A bicycle is not just a mode of transportation but a method of empowerment, allowing the user to get to jobs, appointments and maintain connections throughout the community.
Kyle said, “I have witnessed how well people do when they have access to a bike and how dramatically reduced their opportunities are when that bike is gone. A bike makes all the difference in the world as far as providing opportunity and broadening one’s outlook and ability to dream.”
MHALA will not only be taking donations, but will be working with Long Beach’s newly remodeled Multi-Service Center to see if they have clients who would benefit from a bike. Bikeable Communities has donated $500 to provide locks for the bikes, however MHALA is still soliciting more donations for locks, Kyle said.
Evan Kelly, who maintains several bike fleets throughout Long Beach and runs a bicycle valet service for local events has volunteered his time, along with several other local bike mechanics, to help restore damaged bicycles to their previous ridable conditions.
Early next year MHALA will begin monthly bicycle maintenance classes at Lincoln Park to teach people how to maintain their prized metal steeds. Kyle said, “We hope to provide the tools to members who show interest in bike maintenance.”
This is the first ever MHALA holiday bike donation, a truly pivotal event for the Long Beach community and one great step toward helping our homeless community reach economic self-sufficiency.
El Dorado Park West Community Center
2800 Studebaker Rd., Long Beach, CA 90815
Granada Beach Landing
5101 E. Ocean Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90803
1740 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90813
Expo Arts Center
4321 Atlantic Ave. Long Beach, CA 90807