88Bikes Endowment

"It doesn't always take a massive relief organization to tip the scales for joy and sustainability in places where children and young adults are challenged to be their own heroes."

Last year, Matt got me an amazingly meaningful birthday gift - he donated a bike to one of my favorite nonprofits, 88Bikes, in my name. I briefly wrote about this project back in June 2011, after meeting the organization's founder, Dan Austin, at Mountainfilm in Telluride, CO. Not only does 88Bikes give underprivileged children in developing nations free bikes, they also provide the kids with bike maintenance training, safety workshops, group bike rides, and bike-based job skills. On top of that, all individual donations are used to purchase and assemble the bikes (which are purchased in-country) and for local transportation, so that means 100% of the donated money goes directly into the country’s local economy.

88Bikes plans endowment trips to different communities around the world periodically, but so many $88 donations had come through before mine, that it took a while for "my" bike to get to my child. About three months ago, I got word that a bicycle in my name was endowed to a child named Domingos in Mozambique. Here he is, holding a photograph of me, riding my bike!

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I also wanted to be sure to mention this article that came out a while back on their Asha Program, which focuses on empowering girls with bikes. True global impact like this gives me goosebumps, and I'm proud to support this inspiring movement! Want to learn more about 88Bikes? Check out their website here.