IOWA CITY — The Iowa City Bike Library has made December all about the kids.
This month, Bike Library volunteers worked to refurbish 40 bikes to donate to the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, which serves victims of intimate partner violence and their loved ones. The Bike Library, 700 S. Dubuque St., is a volunteer-run charity focused on repairing used bikes, making them available to the public, and cultivating the cycling culture through classes, programs and partnerships.
Youth bike initiative volunteers prepped the 40 bikes so they had kickstands, quality seats, reflectors and other features, earlier this month. Then approximately 70 volunteers — men, women, boy and girls — participated in an evening bike repair blitz on Dec. 7, cleaning, tuning and even tying bows onto the bikes.
“I’ve never seen bikes come out of the Bike Library that clean,” said Audrey Wiedemeier, Bike Library executive director.
The shop floor was full of more-experienced volunteers working with less-experienced volunteers prepping each bike to give to children in the DVIP program.
“I was excited to see all the different skill levels working together on a common goal,” she said, noting professionals from Geoff’s Bike and Ski and World of Bikes were among the volunteers.
The partnership is just one of several for the Bike Library.
Iowa City Shelter House receives bikes. The Bike Library also works with the Neighborhood Center of Johnson County on WE Ride, or Women Empowerment Ride, which cultivates appreciation for cycling among 9- to 14-year-old girls, and Bike Club, a two-week after-school program for kindergartners through third-graders.
The Bike Library is raising money for its programs through an end-of-the-year giving campaign as well as seeking donations of bikes, parts or other bike-related equipment or apparel.
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People can donate to the Bike Library online at ICBikeLibrary.org and can learn more about the youth cycling initiatives as well as other programming on the website under the “Public Services” tab.
A final open house of the year is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. People can drop off donations, check out the Bike Library, borrow bikes or try out the workbench. Limited edition “Bikes Create Community” prints by local artist Alexandra Janezic are part of the fundraising campaign starting at $150.
“A lot is going on this month, and it is mostly about getting kids on bikes and partnering with organizations to make that happen,” Wiedemeier said.
The Bike Library is closed from Dec. 23 to Jan. 21.
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