People who are trying to get their lives back on track often find many obstacles, such as lack of transportation, to be an impediment to their goal. In an effort to help those who are trying to help themselves, Bikes For Christ was established in 2016.
According to the founder, Pat Simmons, “Our goal is to help those who are trying to help themselves.”
Simmons added, “We work directly with case managers at agencies that provide services to those in need. If they feel an individual is truly making life-changing decisions for the better, and a bicycle would benefit them, they can place an order with us.”
Bikes For Christ also works with area employers and schools.
An example of this is the work Bikes For Christ does with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department in its Reentry and Homeless Initiative. Another example is its work with Cove Behavior Health (formerly known as DACCO). Other organizations include Metropolitan Ministries, Catholic Charities and the Tampa Veterans Administration.
Bikes For Christ is an all-volunteer organization. It has approximately 10-11 volunteers and has separate team members that work on the bike repairs and the deliveries. It also has volunteers that represent the organization at local chamber meetings and events. These include outreach events, outdoor markets and expos. At these events, the volunteers share the mission of Bikes For Christ.
Bikes For Christ are seeking donations of primarily men’s bikes. You can drop off men’s bikes at several local locations, including Beef ’O’ Brady’s, located at 210 S. Kings Ave. in Brandon; Brandon Bikeworks, located at 6048 Winthrop Town Centre Ave. in Riverview; and Jarrett Scott Ford, located at 2000 E. Baker St. in Plant City. If you cannot drop off your donation of a men’s bike, you can complete a form online to make arrangements for volunteers to pick up the bike.
Please note it is not accepting children’s bikes at this time.
In addition to donations of men’s bikes, Bikes For Christ is also in need of monetary donations.
According to Simmons, “Our biggest need right now is a new building so we can continue to help those in need.”
For more information, please visit www.bikes4christ.com.