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Church collects bikes, sewing machines for African nation

May 04, 2007

For the third year, the bicycle-collecting efforts at Otterbein United Methodist Church in Hagerstown for an African nation brought success on April 28.

And as a new feature this year, sewing machines were also accepted, according to Cindy Brown, who helped with the project.

This year, the church collected 212 useable bicycles and 23 portable sewing machines plus $797 toward shipping costs.

Brown said 31 volunteers included members, friends and neighbors of the church were involved in the collection.

The bikes, sewing machines, and spare parts will be shipped to the Village Bicycle Project in Ghana. Students in the villages will attend bicycle and sewing machine maintenance and repair workshops.

Repair education is a critical component of the development program, enabling communities to sustain the equipment and work their way out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency, Brown said.

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Begun in 2005, the Otterbein bicycle project took in 285 bikes its first year.

Bikes for the World is a project of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit advocacy and educational organization.

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