“What is Wheels4Life, and why should I get involved?”
That’s a great question! Why don’t I let our friends at Wheels4Life give you a little background information:
Wheels4Life is a non-profit charity (501c(3)), that provides free bicycles for people in need of transportation in Third World countries. We partner with local individuals, organizations and other groups to help us identify persons who sincerely need a bike to be able to go to school or to work. Often these people live in very primitive and remote areas with no access or means to public transportation. The closest school, doctor or work-place might be 10 or 20 miles away. Having a bike can make all the difference in somebody’s life and can give them a chance to break out of the vicious poverty cycle. The gift of mobility, in form of a bicycles, can do miracles.
We carefully select the persons who receive a bike, with the help of local institutions, organizations and/or individuals. Some of our requirements include that the persons don’t already have alternative means of transportation nor can they afford public transportation (when available). People who just want to get a bicycle because its free, will be eliminated quickly from our selection process.
Often we buy the bicycles in the country were its needed. That helps the local economy and it makes it much easier to find replacement parts. It also saves us much costs in shipping, handling, import taxes, duties, storage, etc…
Once we grow bigger we will import bikes by the container, which will lower the cost per unit even more. At the moment a bicycle costs us approximately between US $50 to $150.
We keep our administrative costs and overhead as low as possible. Most of the donations received are going straight towards buying bikes. Most everybody in our charity works on a volunteer level for free. Hans Rey pays for all his charity related travel expenses out of his own pocket. We keep the costs down as much as we can, in order to buy more bikes.
The following video is a trailer for the Wheels4Life film, which I feel will provide you with a little more visual insight into the organization and the impact it has had already.
****I’ve talked with Hans Rey and we concluded that if you mention my name or SeeTomBike in the memo, we can track the donations and keep record of how much money was raised from this blog. Thank you again, and remember there is no donation you can make that is too small. What may seem insignificant to you, could mean the world to someone else.*****