Trips for Kids Marin

Rating: 4.94 stars   18 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Job Training, Environment

Location: 138 Sunnyside Mill Valley CA 94941 USA

Mission: Established in 1986, Trips for Kids ® (TFK®) is a San Francisco Bay Area-based volunteer organization that provides mountain biking outings and environmental education for inter-city youth. Our goal is to combine lessons in personal responsibility, achievement and environmental awareness through development of practical skills and the simple act of having fun. The Trips for Kids international office, supporting more than 70 chapters, is co-located with the flagship chapter in San Rafael, CA. The flagship chapter also operates a bicycle thrift shop, Re-Cyclery, and an Earn-a-Bike program. The shop provides affordable transportation for Bay Area residents. The shop also plays a major role in the recycling of bicycles and bicycle parts.
Target demographics: at-risk, low income youth, ages 10 - 17
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1500
Geographic areas served: International
Programs: Trips for Kids operates three integrated programs:

1. Each year our Rides Program leads day-long mountain biking excursions for over 1600 low-income youth from all over the Bay Area. On the rides we deliver lessons in environmental awareness, nutrition and physical fitness.

2. In 1999 we began a National Expansion Program that helps people in other areas develop programs based on our successful San Francisco Bay Area model.  We offer starting groups guidance, bikes and a "How To" manual. To date there are 70Trips for Kids groups in North America and one in Israel.

3. Our Re-Cyclery program offers earn-a-bike and job training opportunities to over 225 low-income youth per year at our San Rafael workshop. Re-Cyclery youth can also participate in art nd homework tutoring projects. A Mobile Re-Cyclery brings our skill-building workshop to more than 225 youth at schools in Marin and the East Bay. At the Re-Cyclery Thrift Shop we hire youth trained in our workshops to help repair and sell used bikes to raise funds for our programs. The shop encourages people to reuse old items and reduces waste while promoting biking as an affordable, environmentally friendly form of transportation.

 

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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Fantastic organization - solid, well-run in every way, with incredible impact! Trips for Kids truly changes children's lives - positively and profoundly - and has for 25 years.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would increase capacity to start even more chapters around the world (there are 80 chapters currently) to change the lives of even more needy children.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

My youth group members love the rides throughout the Bay Area. Although some of the rides are strenuous, they allow our youth to view the Bay Area in a new way. The rides have helped the youth enjoy being outdoors and away from the hustle of the inner city.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

it has been great seeing youth take the challenge of riding bikes through the hills and expressing themselves as they explore open land. Although the are tired after each ride, the rate is very affordable.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing youth being excited about outdoor activities. it is exciting to see them face physcial challenges and rejoice when they finish the race. The rate is excellent and very affordable.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide bikes and helmets for thousands of youth to ride on trips each day of the year.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

My name is Alison and I am the Project Coordinator for a mentoring program that assists teens that have an incarcerated parent. A large part of our program is our monthly group events. Our kids LOVE Trips for Kids rides. They comment frequently about how fun and cool the staff/volunteers are. The kids love doing the hike up to the look out point at Tennessee Valley Beach and not all of our mentors are as eager but the T4K volunteers always step up and go with them. From one nonprofit to another they are fantastic to work with Willow and Marilyn have made many a miracle happen, even with our large group.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing our kids and the teamwork that evolves from these activities.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

How easy they make the process of scheduling, paperwork, waivers and needed materials like providing the bikes.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

FANTASTIC-Everyone is so helpful and so willing to work with you and accomodate your needs.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Lose what makes it great. This is such a simple fantastic resource and sometimes more to not a good thing. I would love for them to have more funding so they could have more staff and materials but I think they have made an amazing program as it is.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

We have had many successful rides with the Marin Trips for Kids, and would recommend them for anyone. Our population is a very difficult one to work with (at risk 17-25 year old high school reentry) and TFK has worked with us time after time to overcome some obstacles we have had on the trips. Speciffically, Michael has been incredibly patient and willing to change the way some expectations are met to help accommodate our students. Additionally, I know that our staff are sometimes hard to reach, and to communicate with due to the nature of our program. Trips for Kids have always been incredible in dealing with us, and still making our trips educational, safe and fun. Our students who are initially resistant to all activities they have little experience in, and after our biking field trips, they talk about how great it was for weeks.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change lives by providing bikes and outdoor riding experience to every under served, at risk youth in the greater Bay Area.

Ways to make it better...

there was a little more cultural competency in a few of the staff members that met our age/demographic.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

The children and the staff at our after school center learned very much from the staff and volunteers about bikes as well as treating the environment and each other with respect. Plus they are fun. Most of the kids we serve do not have bikes or role models to help them fix bikes or to take them into nature to ride bikes. I just with they had more staff so we could see them every day at our crowded center. The kids need their positive energy every day and so do the childcare workers.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

witnessing how kids self esteem went up after spending time with the staff and volunteers on rides and in the classes.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their caring. They spent time giving each kid personal attention on rides and in the classroom

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

attentive, funny and knew a lot

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

hire more people to do the great work they are doing and reach more kids

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

It's difficult to put into words how professional, accessible, and down-right friendly the TFK staff and volunteers are. I took my inner city 5th grade class on a ride with the organization in the Spring of '09 and they're STILL talking about their experience. TFK afforded my kids to see a part of their OWN city that they'd never seen...literally 10 miles away from where they live. They saw the Pacific Ocean, the smelled fresh air, they climbed hills that were mistaken for "mountains", and they built confidence and an awareness that there is so much more to life than the crime ridden neighborhood in which many of them live. Simply put, Trips for Kids open their eyes to a new look on life. I'll never forget how patient and open Michael, Alex, and the third volunteer (whose name I cannot remember) were with my students. The staff is quick on the draw via email and efficient in all communication. They're all a pleasure to work with.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way my students understand the vast opportunities that exist not only in this city of San Francisco, but beyond!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their timely communication and friendly, professional staff.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing to work with, extremely organized, and well-equipped to work with their youth population.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

spread its reach to other cities and provide their invaluable service to kids most in need of seeing the beauty that exists, unknowingly, so close to where they live.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

I started riding as a volunteer with TFK this summer, and it's really awesome. You feel like you're making a difference while going on beautiful mountain bike rides. The kids are very sweet and seem really appreciative; a great time all-around. Also, the other volunteers are cool.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

increase physical activity, lower healthcare costs, and decrease crime among the disadvantaged populations that it serves.

Ways to make it better...

We biked with the same group of kids everytime, so you get to really know them.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I am a volunteer and I also work for a youth organization and have brought my youth to some rides. This is a great experience for volunteers and the kids involved.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The youth that I work with.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The learning experience and opportunity they provide for youth.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind and caring, a great resource for youth.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand and serve more kids, expand it's programming to cover more topics, offer counseling and support for kids and youth.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to be involved.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I wish every city kid in America could climb on a bicycle and ride Tennessee Valley, and every suburban grownup could see the magic that happens when they do. Many of the youth who participate have never been across the Golden Gate Bridge. Some are pretty wobbly on bikes and few have ever ventured onto a hiking trail. So to see the sense of accomplishment when these kids tackle a tough hill on their bikes fills me with joy. More importantly it makes the kids happy. Many of them show up very shy, or trying to be tough, but bikes just seem to tear down walls with human beings. Recently TFK added a nutrition component, so in addition to learning about the outdoors and the environment, they go home a little smarter about their own health.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Kids who get out of the city for a day and go home saying they want to start biking more, or just being outdoors.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing differently.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

getting kids out of their day-to-day urban existences and into the outdoors.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Professional and very gifted at connecting with the kids.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

revolutionize the world by showing urban kids there's a life outside the city. Maybe even giving away bikes to keep them coming!

Ways to make it better...

The kids always showed up on time. But that is often outside the control of Trips for Kids.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money and volunteers.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

A 1st class experience! I originally signed up to volunteer as a rider some 8 years ago when I wanted to both experience working with older kids (teens; mine were in grade school) and to get out of the house to experience some of the great outdoors Marin County has to offer. I was not disappointed and have returned often to ride along TFK's experienced ride leaders. I grew up in SF and never visited Marin County in this depth until I was in high school, so that experience is comparable to many of what the kids see when they get on mountain bikes, many for the first time ever. TFK ride leaders encourage you to open up and talk to the kids to introduce them to the new experience of the Marin outdoors.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the gratefulness and happiness after a ride is over, as exhibited by both kids and their teachers. Hopefully we've made at least a small, positive difference in their lives.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue outreach and spread the word. Their are many many deserving non-profits in the Bay Area and this is definitely one of them. One that is a personal favorite that I believe in and continue to contribute to this day.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with the kids who might not have the socioeconomic advantages my own (spoiled?) ones do!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

from both comparable and different backgrounds as myself. Everyone was open and giving -- the kids came first.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

pay the staff a better salary and expand into even more national/state/local chapters. There are underserved kids everywhere...invest the money in developing and preserving more open space and mountain bike riding areas, not just in Marin County.

Ways to make it better...

I got paid to do something fun like this. (JUST KIDDING.) I can't think of anything serious here.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

continued funding and recognition. They both kind of go hand in hand. Secondly the availability of riding trails closer to clients' homes. Ideally mountain bike riding would be easier if fire roads, etc. were closer to their homes.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I hope I continue to be a ride volunteer for as long as I can ride.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Self Employed

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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