WTAP Hosts Largest
Bike Distribution Event Ever!
Freedom for the Newly Freed

The Welcome to America Project helps refugees do more than resettle - we want to empower refugees to re-flourish in Arizona! Bicycles are a critical component of self-sufficiency, because bicycles enable our new neighbors to explore our community, commute to work, attend school more easily, run errands - bank, pharmacy, grocery - with efficiency. Think of the time gained and the expanded reach that a bike offers. For example, just a few weeks ago we shared a bike with a refugee who was walking 2 hours to work every day. Bikes are life changing! And so . . .

Largest Bike Distribution Event Ever

Why change one life when you can change 100?  On Saturday, November 7th, WTAP shared over 100 bicycles with refugees. With the help of masked-up and socially-distanced volunteers, we delivered 60+ bikes directly to the doors of refugees at a local apartment complex and another 40+ to a refugee church, dispersing to the recipients in the church parking lot.

How’d we get to 100? The 100 bikes came from two new, incredible partners. The first partner is CycleHop @go_hopr Have you ever seen neon green Grid Bikes @gridbike Tempe and Phoenix? Grid is owned by CycleHop, and they donated 50 orange cruiser bikes to share with refugees. Prior to the November 7th bike event, the mountain bike teams@brophyxaviermtb from Brophy College Prep @brophyprep Xavier College Prep @xaviercollegeprep ready the orange CycleHop bikes for delivery. Our second partner is Bob's Free Bikes @bobsfreebikes, a nonprofit organization in Fountain Hills who gives bikes to kids across Arizona who can't afford bikes. They donated 50 bikes to share with refugee children. The City of Phoenix also donated over 60 bicycle helmets to help keep refugee riders safe. Plus, over 30 volunteers helped us to roll the bikes directly to refugee recipients. Yes, we are all a part of the welcome. We are grateful for the support from these organizations and from the volunteers who made this event possible . . . and powerful! 
Growth Through Community Involvement

WTAP added an amazing AmeriCorps VISTA @americorps, Melissa Mahon, who is leading our bike initiative. With the added commitment and guidance of Phantom Cyclist @phantom_cyclist, WTAP has been expanding our bicycle program by leaps and bounds in 2020. One reason for this growth is the amazing support from Pivot Cycles @pivot_cyclesusa Dan Limburg, Pivot Cycle's Senior Forecasting, Planning and Product Manager, first started volunteering with WTAP at the bike repair nights in 2019. He enjoyed the opportunity so much that he extended the invitation to his coworkers and the word spread quickly as more and more Pivot Cycles’ employees became involved.
“This community involvement has become a very rewarding experience for all of us,” Daniel reported.  “There is real joy in preparing each bike for WTAP and it comes from the smiles we see on the bike recipients' faces. These new-to-them bicycles really do make an impact . . . on all of us.” 

WTAP and Phantom Cyclist want to thank Pivot Cycles for all of their widespread work to repair donated bicycles and make them road-ready for refugees. In just the last three months, they have repaired over 50 bicycles to share with refugees! 
The founder of Phantom Cyclist, Shelly Brown, has been celebrating the exciting growth of the bike program since partnering with WTAP in 2018.  Shelly reflects that, "As the days turn into years, it is amazing to see more refugees with bike access.  What is particularly inspirational, personally, is working with all the people involved in the process - the WTAP staff, volunteer bike mechanics, Pivot Cycles, KHS staff and interns. There are many hands in the process, and each one is a Phantom Cyclist!" With each new volunteer and community partner, more refugees are receiving bikes and more lives are being changed. 

What Sits is Your Garage Stands to Change a Life

Are you interested in supporting refugees through wheels? Donate a new or gently-used bicycle, u-lock, helmet or bike pump at the WTAP Warehouse. Consider doing a bicycle drive in your neighborhood, at your school or at your place of worship. If you have bike repair experience and you want to take action, contact Melissa Mahon at melissa.mahon@wtap.org.

We are all a part of the welcomes. What is your role to help refugees ride?
The Welcome to America Project
WTAP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Federal Tax ID#80-0038343 • Arizona QCO Code 20247
1711 West University Drive #158, Tempe, AZ 85281
 602-490-0088   wtap.org