If you have an old or unneeded bicycle cluttering up the garage or spare room in your home, you don't have to relegate it to the curb. Donating that bike to a local organization hands it off to someone who can use and appreciate two-wheeled transportation. Even if your community does not have a bicycle-specific non-profit, other agencies will often gladly accept your donation. If you have unneeded helmets or bicycle parts, many organizations accept these as well.
Local Reuse-a-Bike Initiatives
Local bicycle-based organizations that teach individuals how to fix bicycles and give the bikes away for free are offered in many cities. In some cases, these organizations run a bicycle shop, offering classes on bicycle repair in which individuals earn credits toward a bicycle of their own. Other organizations donate bikes to the underprivileged in the area. To find out if your area has such a program, contact your local city hall, or search online for "donate bicycle (name of your city)."
In some cases, homeless shelters sponsor programs that offer bicycles to its residents. Long-term shelters and transitional shelters are also potential options, including shelters for teens. Contact local shelters to determine if they have such a program. If no shelters in your area offer it, and you feel strongly about offering bikes to the homeless, one of the shelters may be open to hosting such a program if you and some friends spearhead efforts to collect and fix up the bicycles. A local bicycle shop may be willing to perform minor repairs on donated bikes.
Programs that benefit underprivileged youth and teens may accept bicycle donations to give out to those who do not have their own bike. Seek out local free summer camps, after-school programs or faith-based youth groups; adults in charge of the various programs will know of any kids in need of bicycles. They may even help organize a collection so many bikes can be collected and given out.
Charity Resale Shops
If you're unable to find a specific organization that is meaningful to you, donate the bicycle to a charitable resale shop that uses its proceeds to benefit those with disabilities, the homeless or the underprivileged. Many cities have more than one such shop; the shops are often run by national or international organizations. Donations to these organizations, as well as any other charity, are tax-deductible, but the larger benefit is knowing your bicycle will benefit someone who will appreciate it.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.