Africa Project - empowering people in need with donated bikes
Bicycle Warehouse owners Debbe and Mike Simmons will soon be hosting a “loading party” to celebrate their third 40 foot container of donated bikes being sent to Africa. “First we have get our donation count up to 400 bikes. We’re pretty close” says Debbe who spearheaded the development of the Southern California Chapter of the Africa Bike Project.
“We are good friends with Ken Martin one of the owners of Mike’s Bikes in San Francisco who started the non-profit foundation and has already sent over 22,000 bikes to Africa” says Debbe. Once they learned about the program Debbe and co-owner/husband Mike Simmons immediately began the Southern California Chapter to collect bike donations through all of their retail stores in San Diego and Temecula.
(Ken Martin can be seen here giving an overview of his latest trip to Africa)
“Both Debbe and I immediately knew that this was something we wanted to be part of. We love our business because it allows us to help save the world one bike at a time through our stores. Now we get to spread that impact even further through a worthy cause that's important to us and our community” says Mike Simmons.
“One of our more exciting moments came last year when our main bike vendor Giant Bicycles donated two fully loaded forty foot containers of bikes and gear to the cause” tells Debbe as she described the generosity and extra efforts of everyone at the U.S. division of Giant Bicycles, the world’s largest manufacturer of quality bicycles.
“We are super fortunate and proud to be Giants #1 retailer in the entire United States. They make the best bikes out there and are a great partner to work with” says Debbe
“The non-profit has established multiple warehouses where the donations are refurbished by local mechanics and sold at an affordable price which creates jobs, stimulates the economy and gives the freedom of mobility to thousands in need” Debbe explains further “The Africa Project also provides business coaching to those who have opened small sister bike stores in multiple regions of Africa”
Bicycle Warehouse is close to holding their loading party event for their current bike drive. “Our current container is 75% full. We still need 120 used mountain or kids bikes to fill it up. Once that happens we can ship it to Africa. We ask everyone to look through your garage for any donation worthy bikes that you can give to the cause. Just drop them off to any of our 7 stores. We'll give you tons of smiles, thank you's and hugs. It's tax deductible too” explains Debbe.
"Thanks to everyone's generosity in helping with our project. Special thanks to folks like Blake who take it step further and round up donations from all their friends, family and neighbors" says Debbe
(Blake tells us about donating 22 bikes)
Bicycle Warehouse is recognized as a “Top 100 National Retailer”. They are locally owned and operated by husband and wife team Debbe and Mike Simmons along with their staff of 35 top notch team members. They are a full cyclery offering bikes for all ages, skill level and types of riding. They repair all makes and models and have all the gear you need to have a safe and fun ride. Their tag line says it best “It’s Your World, Ride It”.
Debbe and Mike Simmons
Bicycle Warehouse Owners