Treasured Childhood Memories Help to Bring Empowerment to Others –
Simple encounters and interactions often ignite passions that guide our lives on an unexpected path. Such an event happened to Mike B., the founder of Bikes Without Borders in 2004. On a trip to a town in Northern Nicaragua, he met a little girl who walked 2 hours each way to school. Remembering riding bikes to school, Mike decided to donate bikes to the school the girl attended, and started a charity that empowers people worldwide.
Bikes Without Borders is a Canadian charity dedicated to using bikes and bike related solutions to assist development in marginalized communities. Upon returning to the school where he donated the bikes and discovered how popular and empowering they had become. Teachers used the bikes as incentives for the children to excel in their studies. Fieldworkers wanted bikes to ride to their fields, so they did not have to walk. Families who could not afford cars or public transportation used bikes for more efficient transportation to and from jobs, thus affording them more time with loved ones.
Bikes Without Borders does not just help people in developing countries. The Great Bike Recycle assists youths in the St.James Town Neighbourhood of Toronto. The charity also partners with other businesses in multitudes endeavours Mountain Equipment Co-op dedicates store space for the Bikes Without Borders clothing line with 100 percent of the profits going toward the charity. ING Direct sponsors the Toronto Tweed Ride.
A seemingly chance encounter with a little girl brought cherished memories to Mike B’s mind. Those memories, and a desire to help gave birth to Bikes Without Borders. The charity has brought empowerment and joy to many worldwide.