Owen Thomas is combining his love of bikes with helping others by asking Belmont residents to donate bicycles no longer being used to be sent far
On Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thomas, a 13-year-old Chenery 7th grader and member of Boy Scout Troop 66 in Belmont, is spearheading a bike drive for Bikes not Bombs, a Boston-based non-profit that collects used bikes, parts and accessories. The non-profit rehabilitates the donated bikes and ships them to economic development projects in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
The bike donation/drop-off location will be at 17 Clark St. at the corner of Common and Clark streets in the parking lot of All Saints Episcopal Church.
The donated bikes become the primary means of transportation and economic opportunity for individuals living in developing economies.
“It’s spring and many people are cleaning out their garages and donating or getting rid of older items,” says Thomas. “This project gives Belmont residents an opportunity to help underprivileged people in Massachusetts and around the world by donating used bicycles that will provide a reliable, eco-friendly, low-maintenance mode of transportation to school and work. These bicycles will transform people’s lives.”
There is a $10 tax-deductible, suggested donation to Bikes not Bombs to support refurbishment and shipping of each bike. Tax receipts will provide at the drop-off location. All types of bikes are desired such as road, hybrid, mountain, BMX, and tandem, along with bike parts, tools and other accessories (helmets, bags, lights, pumps, locks, etc.).
“My goal for this drive is to gather at least 50 donated bicycles,” says Thomas, “And I hope that Belmont community members will share the word with friends and neighbors to help us reach our target.” He is an active Scout and a candidate for the Eagle Scout rank, which this project will help him achieve.
Bikes not Bombs also engages Boston-area youth in fixing the donated bikes as part of summer activity programs. Youth nurture a love of biking, develop useful mechanical skills and are eligible to earn a bike of their own. They are also trained in safety for urban bikers, get physically fit and participate in biking field trips throughout summer.W