Mission: The mission of Pedals for Progress is to: 1. enhance the productivity of low-income workers overseas where reliable, environmentally sound transportation is scarce, by supplying reconditioned bicycles; 2. promote self-sustaining bicycle repair facilities [overseas], employing local people; 3. provide leadership...throughout North America for the recycling of bicycles, parts, and accessories; 4. reduce the volume of bicycles, parts, and accessories flowing to U.S. landfills; 5. foster environmentally sound transportation policies that encourage widespread use of bicycles worldwide; and 6. foster in the North American public an understanding of, and a channel for, responding to the transportation needs of the poor in developing countries.
Geographic areas served: world wide
Programs: Pedals for progress's primary exempt purpose is to supply, via charity partners overseas, reconditioned and used bicycles to low-income families in need of affordable transport for productive purposes.
At first I was happy to find an outlet for old, discarded bikes which still had life in them, but were of the wrong model for our society's taste. Avoiding waste...
At the collections I attended, Dave Schweidenback, the founder and president, showed his enthusiasm by always working harder than anyone else, while sharing real life stories on how these bikes helped people, families and regional development.
I decided to run my own spring collection, now in its 6th edition. I estimate that I channeled over 500 bikes to P4P partners, benefiting not only 500 new owners, but also the full distribution structure put in place by P4P: workshop employees receiving and fixing the bikes, owner's family, local economic activity, partner's non-profit programs (Youth, health, education, etc...)
After being a trustee for 3 years, I am satisfied that Dave's heart is in the right place. This is evident in the way he started the organization (advertised for donations to send 14 bikes to the village he resided in as a peace corp, collected 10 times more!), and the way he supports it today rather than the other way around (has donated his monthly paycheck several times in lean years to ensure P4P's survival)
For me, P4P's impact is beyond redirecting discarded treasure from