Manchester UMC's Bike Rehab ministry is a group that receives bikes as donations, then cleans and repairs them. They are donated to local charitable organizations, who distribute the “like-new” bikes to their clients. Children and youth can experience the joy of riding, while adults have the option of using the bikes as transportation to and from their jobs.
To donate bikes, you may drop them off at 201 Creve Coeur Ave. (bike house) outside the building. If you are unable to drop it off yourself, please email Jim Vail, ministry leader, here.
The mission of the Bike Rehab Ministry is to collect, recondition and distribute bikes to mission agencies and/or individuals.
You never know how a ministry will be born. This ministry was not envisioned and developed by a group of bike riders and enthusiasts, but by a group who prepared breakfast each month for individuals joining our church. It started with “Let’s put our small change in a coffee can each month and at the end of the year buy a bike for charity”. Two months later it was “Do you suppose we could collect some used bikes, fix them up, and give them to Kingdom House” – (an agency of the United Methodist Church in St. Louis inner city). Within three months, 60 bikes had been donated to the agency. Since our start in the year 2000, over 3,000 bikes have been shared with agencies, groups and individuals.
How It Works
Notices in our church bulletin notify church members that bikes are needed for the ministry and the contact person for making a donation. Local bike shops post information about the ministry and who to contact to make a donation. Some bike shops will allow trade in allowances on the purchase of a new bike; then donate the trade-in bike to the ministry. The ministry sends the donor a letter to acknowledge the donation to a non-profit organization that can be used for tax purposes.
Donated bikes are evaluated to determine if the bike can be rehabbed to an excellent condition within the limits of financial investment and time involvement that the ministry is willing to invest. Bikes that do not qualify to be rehabbed are used for parts.
Each usable bike is “logged in” by giving it an identifying number and tagged with an itemized check list to identify the make, model, type, tire size, and any other feature of the bike that may need to be repaired or adjusted. The bike is cleaned, then chains and gears are lubricated. The bike is then ready to have parts replaced, repaired, and adjusted on scheduled rehab days when volunteers gather in mass to work.
Parts and supplies are ordered for the numbered bikes that are to be rehabbed. Our ministry works with a local bike shop that shares our mission philosophy. They order parts and supplies at reduced cost, plus the cost of shipping. Upon learning of the longevity and magnitude of our ministry some warehouse suppliers have donated the shipping cost of our supplies.
The success of the ministry is largely dependent upon available financing. The ministry’s primary fundraiser is to provide food service for our church’s 4th of July community fireworks display.
Frequently, bikes in “like new” condition are donated that can be sold to help finance the ministry. Some members of our ministry watch for bikes that would be of interest to collectors and lists them on eBay.
The average cost to rehab a bike is $18.50, which includes an $8.00 helmet. Other expenses include tools, bike stands, replacement parts, and cleaning supplies.
Work with Us!
The ministry schedules rehab days each year in September, October, January and April. Forty to fifty volunteers meet to complete the various tasks to rehab a group of bikes. Rehabbing tasks include replacing tires, tubes, grips, brake pads, cables, cable housing, reflectors, seats, pedals, and kick stands. Each bike is cleaned and polished to enhance its appearance and prepare it for extended service to a joyful recipient. At the conclusion of each rehab day, most bikes are transported to our major recipient, Kingdom House. Here the bikes and helmets are systematically distributed to selected children and their families.