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Nonprofit seeks help to fix up bikes for people in need

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 6:05 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2021 at 12:39 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Bicycles are the primary mode of transportation for many people in the Lowcountry, but they aren’t cheap.

Second Chance Bikes works to refurbish and unrideable bikes into fully functional bikes to then donate to people in the Lowcountry who can’t afford them.

READ MORE: To get involved, visit Second Chance Bikes’ website.

The organization helps hundreds of children and adults every year. Since January, they’ve already provided bikes to more than 200 kids.

Second Chance Bikes Director Sylvie Baele says the bikes they take in are either donated or abandoned. With the help of volunteers, it takes two to three weeks to fix the bikes up and get them back on the road.

“As a bike advocate for the last 10 years, and as a bike commuter, I could really see that there was a need for affordable for bikes for people of all walks of life,” Baele said.

Second Chance Bikes provides bikes to many organizations, as well as individuals. Entities like the VA, 180 Place, and the South Carolina Department of Mental Health often submit applications for bikes on behalf of their clients.

“They are also awesome tools of self-empowerment,” Baele said.

But all of this is made possible because of volunteers, which Baele says they need more of. She says they have more than enough bikes to fill the requests, but not enough volunteers to fix them up.

Twice a week they have a volunteer session: Thursday 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Baele says they prefer that volunteers have some knowledge in bike mechanics, but there are also many other ways you can help.

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