Last year, Bicycle Re-Source of Bend (BRoB) refurbished and donated 463 bicycles to people who needed them in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties. This year, they may be able to increase that number, thanks to a $2,000 grant from Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation (CCUIF).
Founded in 2010, non-profit BRoB's mission is "...to refurbish and donate bicycles to community members in need, teach bicycle maintenance, repair and safety classes for fees and no charge, and host no-cost bicycle maintenance work days at local shelters and schools," explains Rod Miller, BRoB volunteer and board member.
This mission is accomplished with the help of more than 50 dedicated volunteers and collaborations with approximately 63 community outreach organizations that aid in identifying individuals in need. Bikes are only distributed after a safety check and any necessary parts are replaced.
Partner organizations include Habitat for Humanity, Family Access Network, Neighborhood Impact, Saving Grace, Bethlehem Inn, and the Latino Community Association. For a listing of all partners that can be contacted to facilitate bike matches, see the BRoB webpage. The site notes, in many cases, "These bikes are a person's only form of transportation."
Linking folks in need with bikes is only part of BRoBs community presence. They act as an education hub as well, hosting donation-based clinics for fixing flats, building wheel-sets, maintenance and basic to advanced bicycle repair in group settings or one-on-one. Donations range from $10 to $50.
BRoB received the $2,000 grant at a ceremony on June 23 at the Seven Feathers Convention Center in Canyonville, along with 64 other grant recipients. According to grant writer Maureen Parco, BRoB volunteer and board member, the funds can be used for "payroll to train and certify volunteers and manage the refurbishment of bicycles for donation and safety clinics, transportation of bicycles to and from warehouses for repair and distribution to agencies, schools and festivals, and bicycle parts and helmets."
The Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians, which oversees the awarding organization, CCUIF, has a long and proud history of giving back to their homeland territory in southwestern Oregon, including Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Lane counties.
Striving to offer assistance in youth education, strengthen youth and family, and provide positive youth development, in 1997 the Tribe formalized its tradition of philanthropy by establishing the CCUIF. Since the CCUIF's inception, more than $14 million in grants have been awarded to community nonprofit organizations.
"For most of us, bicycles are recreational equipment," says Parco, "but children in poverty don't always have the opportunity to develop a healthy lifestyle while experiencing the beauty of Bend. With the help of CCUIF, the BRoB will make a difference in these children's lives."
For questions regarding bicycle distribution, classes, or to aid BRoB in its mission, see bicycleresourceofbend.org.
For CCUIF grant eligibility and guidelines, see cowcreekfoundation.org.