Bicycles for Humanity (B4H) is a global grassroots movement which has grown since 2005 to 35 chapters in five countries. Established in Seattle in 2010, we are dedicated to giving the gift of mobility (bicycles) to people living in impoverished areas of the world. We are an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization with no paid administrative staff.
- B4H is proud of what we have accomplished through the Seattle Chapter since our inception only three years ago.
- We have shipped 7 containers and over 3500 bikes LR goal is to create 10 BEC’s.
- Provided indirect benefits to as many as 5,000-10,000 adults and children through improved medical care, higher educational achievement, and higher employment and income levels. Received strong support from the Puget Sound community, both in cash donations and in-kind donations of unwanted bicycles.
- Created four Bicycle Empowerment Centers (BECs), providing support for the 2,500 donated bicycles and employment for nine trained bicycle mechanics.
- Our long-term goal is to create a network of 12 BECs throughout the rural areas of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Created mutually beneficial partnerships with African Rotary clubs and Orphan Projects, which provide on-site management and oversight of the program.
Bicycles for Humanity – Seattle
In 2010, Bicycles for Humanity – Seattle began its mission to procure Seattle area bike donations for impoverished South African villages in need of medical care and mobility.
The genesis of the Seattle chapter of Bicycles for Humanity began when Seattleites Frank and Susan Finneran and several friends and colleagues visited Zulu Nyala Game Park and resort in South Africa in 2009 after purchasing the experience at a charity fundraising event. “When we visited, we were taken by the majesty of the wild animals and the splendor of the jungle, however, we also saw first-hand the abject poverty of the area,” said Frank Finneran. “It’s a place of 10 million people with 50 percent unemployment and the highest incidence of HIV in the world – 39 percent of the population.”
The Finnerans and their Seattle friends agreed that something as simple as a bicycle could have an enormous impact on the lives of the people they met and observed in South Africa. Subsequent researched indicated that some 1.5 million usable bicycles are discarded each year in the U.S.
Two months later, the nonprofit Bicycles for Humanity-Seattle was established to procure and donate new and used bikes in working condition to medical workers, students and heads of households in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
“We wanted to create a program that attracts sufficient interest from our community that it becomes an ongoing project in Seattle,” said Finneran. He and charity organizers hope to create a strategy to sustain the program.
The small group raised enough money from like-minded locals to ship two containers of used and serviceable bicycles to South Africa in its first year of operation. Since then, Bicycles for Humanity – Seattle has made a total of seven shipments and more than 3,500 bikes.
To volunteer for an upcoming bike drive or assist in other ways, e-mail email@example.com with date, time and location you’d like to volunteer.