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Trips for Kids Marin

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Environment, Job Training, Youth Centers & Clubs, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Established in 1986, Trips for Kids 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 Bike Shop, an Earn-a-Bike program, and Mobile Bike Workshops throughout the Bay Area. 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.

 

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great friendly people with awesome attitude very helpfuland respectful. I LOVE VISITING you my son and I very great full for all resources been put out there at the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As both a consumer and a past volunteer for Trips for Kids, I can say without reservation that it is one of the finest non-profit organizations around. When I first moved to the Bay Area in the early 90's, I went on many rides with Trips for Kids, and was amazed at how Marilyn Price, a kind, gentle yet tough-as-nails no-nonsense woman, could lead these trips AND carry the mobile tool bag, enabling her to change out a busted rear derailleur, if needed, on the fly. I picked up her bicycle once, and Marilyn told me that it weighed (laden with tools and bike parts), well over 65 lbs! As a past NORBA off-road racer, even I had difficulty keeping up with her on up hill grinds.

Trips for Kids attracts quality, like-minded volunteers, the guides are a hoot, and you can rest assured that the kids--many from the inner city and who have never ridden off road before--are kept safe. Many of the kids that I had taken on rides with Trips for Kids mentioned later that the outing was the most fun they ever had! The program has made a lasting, incredibly positive impression on me, and leads me to believe that there truly are people in this world who care about the future of our kids.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

14

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

14

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TFK offers a wonderful combination of education, challenge and fun. The trips I've been on included environment awareness and respect for the wildlife alongside the challenge of riding a trail. Trip Leaders in my experience are extremely talented to encourage the kids and offer a balance of challeng/fun.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been using Trips for Kids for at least 8 years out of my 20 year teaching career. It's ALWAYS an incredible day in nature on mt bikes with great guides and great equipment. And practically free! Kids bond with each other and their teachers in a way that is not possible in the school setting. Trips for kids makes the logistics EASY! If you are a Bay Area teacher who longs to get your kids in the outdoor but needs a little help, if you're looking to challenge your urban youth, this is the organization for you!

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working to provide alternaative to incarceration of youth since 1981 and I have learned in that time the value of getting kids out dorrs and involved in challenging fun activities. I have been a deciple of trips for kids ever since the first group ride that I organized for underpriviliged kids from San Francisco's toughest neighborhoods. Little did I know at that time that I would be developing a relationship and a resourse that wuld help me impact the lives of generations of youth who were at a critical point in there lives, desperate for the opportunity to get away from the harsh reality, day to day boredom that they somtimes experince. Trips for kids has been one of the highlights of my youth development work they are professional provide great equipment have an emphisiis on saftey but understand that the experirnce should be fun. I have had some difficult groups that are not easy to please but Trips For Kids has always been a hit.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love Trips for Kids! This organization has helped hundreds of my students at three different schools enjoy the outdoors over the last 8 years. All we do is take our children to the meeting place, and Trips for Kids takes it away - providing all the equipment, volunteers, and snacks. The children have an opportunity to challenge themselves and ride freely in a beautiful setting. If they don't know how to ride, they learn very quickly! The children are always happy and exhausted at the end of our trips.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

I discovered Trips For Kids in 2004, and have been organizing students from Oakland Unity High School to saddle up ever since. We have taken about 4 trips per year, and have exposed over 150 of the students from our school to the great outdoors of China Camp and mountain biking. I have been an avid cyclist for over 15 years, so this is also the perfect way for me to combine my passions. The TFK staff has always been amazing and very supportive of all of our groups. Our students have struggled, worked together, exercised patience, and had much fun during the trips. They also learn that these nature experiences are all around us in the Bay Area. Thanks Trips For Kids!

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

I began my career as an educator in the Oakland, California public schools in 1994. In my first year as a high school teacher, I took a group of students on a Trips for Kids adventure in Marin County and have done so several times a year every year since! For almost 100% of my students, their first time on a TFK trip is the first time they have seen the trails of Marin County. Although geographically close, it is a world away from the urban environment they know. The "academic" value of TFK is strong: students learn an enormous amount about local ecosystems on each trip, but it is the community building that TFK trips enable that keeps me bringing students back. The kids build trust, respect, and communication amongst themselves and with teachers by taking on the unique challenge that the trip provides.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer who helps Trips For Kids take under-served youth on mountain bike rides, I've found the experience to be really rewarding. The mission is clear, the organization is well-run, and the staff is just great.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 4

These guys are great - they take kids out on mountain bike rides in marin. Many of these kids don't have a chance to even get out of the city and see nature.