Since 2006, The Boothbay Harbor Rotary Club has been providing free used bicycles for the foreign workers and all who need one in the Boothbay area. The need is very real, as so many of these folks have no transportation available to them at all, and their lodging can be miles from their workplace.
The program caught-on very fast. Rotary club members and volunteers have donated hundreds of hours in labor and many hundreds of dollars for parts each year to (sometimes all too literally) cobble together an adequate fleet of bikes to meet the demand. Local businesses and individuals have given direct donations to keep the program going. Sadly, the program is now at risk.
By the year 2013, we loaned out over 135 bikes. But, in 2014, we could only loan out about 100. Why? Because our entire bike fleet is made up of discarded and donated bicycles that are very old and very difficult to keep working. So much of our fleet is cobbled together from several broken ones, that despite out best efforts, it is now mostly a scrap heap. As we look ahead to the 2015 summer season for the program, we have fewer than 30 bikes that are serviceable.
That’s where you come in to this story. We need to renew our fleet of bicycles with good, strong, simple bikes that we can maintain. We have worked very hard to locate a source for a bulk purchase of good, rugged bikes that will hold up to the all-summer daily use our bikes provide. We can purchase these bikes (in bulk lots of over 20) for about half of retail; at $215 each. Please help us buy a new fleet so we can keep our loaner program running. The Boothbay Harbor Rotary Foundation is a registered 503c charitable organization, so your donations are fully tax deductable, so please, donate whatever you can. We’d love to have you donate $215.00 and be able to say you bought a bike!
We have set up an online website to accept donations which can be found at https://www.crowdrise.com/spokesforfolks. We are also accepting checks marked “Spokes For Folks” mailed to the Boothbay Harbor Rotary Club at P.O. Box 518 Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538. Although we plan on collecting donations through August, we are asking for contributions prior to May 15th so that we can be prepared for the first wave of workers arriving for the 2015 summer season.
For more information on how you can help keep the wheels rolling this summer, contact Rotarian Doug Roberts at Oak Street Provisions or via phone (207) 615-2279.
To download a copy of the Spokes for Folks Flyer, Click Here.