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Bikes roll out to the world's poor

Church collects more than 200 bicycles for program

Church collects more than 200 bicycles for program

April 30, 2006|By Marlo Barnhart

When the last bicycle was loaded onto the truck Saturday afternoon, a total of 219 had been collected in the second year of Otterbein United Methodist Church's participation in the Bikes for the World program.

"We're very excited we did so well again," said Cindy Brown, director of programs at the 108 E. Franklin St. church.

More than 20 volunteers were on hand from 9 a.m. to noon to accept bicycles brought in by people who wanted to donate them, Brown said. Older residents, Scouts and neighborhood children were among those who volunteered.

By 2 p.m., all the bicycles had been loaded onto a truck driven by a representative from Bikes for the World, who came from Arlington, Va., to haul them for shipping to Ghana in West Africa for the Village Bicycle Project, Brown said.

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Bikes for the World is affiliated with the Washington (D.C.) Area Bicyclist Association, which ships unwanted, clean and usable bicycles all over the world. Donated bicycles go to adults and children who need affordable transportation to get to health services and educational opportunities in countries in Central America and West Africa.

The bicycles also can help poor people earn more income by allowing them to get better jobs. Another benefit is learning business management skills, as well as improving bicycle mechanical skills.

Last year, the church took in 285 bikes.

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