In 2008, Terry Esau started Free Bikes 4 Kidz (FB4K) out of his garage in Minnesota. The mission was to “Give kids in need access to a bike they can call their very own.” With that unassuming goal, FB4K has made a huge impact! The organization has expanded with satellite chapters in eight states and over the past ten years has donated over 50,000 bikes to economically disadvantaged kids.
In 2016, Madison area mobile bike repair business owner Andy Quandt decided to start a Madison chapter of FB4K. In the first year Andy and his team gave away 400 bikes. Thrilled by their initial success and all the smiling kids, they knew they could enlarge their impact. Over the next two years they were able to expand their reach into different parts of the community. This spring they gave away 1,400 bikes to area youth and organized more than 400 volunteers who logged approximately 2,200 volunteer hours collecting, cleaning, wrenching and handing out bikes.
Giving Back to the Community
Planet Bike has been involved with the Madison chapter of FB4K since the beginning. In year one, we donated bike locks so the recipients could keep their new wheels safe and secure. In the second year, we wanted to expand our involvement by getting our hands dirty with some volunteer hours.
As a result, we organized a handful of staff volunteer days to help FB4K get bikes ready for the spring giveaway days. Everyone at Planet Bike looks forward to these days when we work side by side, share stories, laugh and put our energy into helping a great local organization. If your office has never organized a volunteer day, we’d highly recommend it because it’s a great team building experience that makes our community a better place.
Find out more about Free Bikes 4 Kidz and see if there’s a chapter in your area HERE.