Velocity’s 2022 by the numbers: 459 refurbished bicycles, 3300 customers served, 50 kids’ bicycles given to kids in our community, and 14 bicycle scholarship recipients.
Velocity has had a wonderful year of serving our community. We continue to adjust and adapt to impacts that the pandemic had on our bicycle non-profit cooperative. We tried the addition of more frequent warehouse sales which we plan to continue this year. We have worked to re-establish our maintenance classes which we plan to start offering early in the new year. Both will be announced on social media and our website. We are excited for what 2023 holds for us and how we can continue to provide bicycles and services to our community.
Recent Scholarship Recipients
We are proud to continue to acknowledge our donors The Simmons Family Foundation, and Kryptonite for their generous and continued partnership in improving people’s lives. With the help of The Simmons Family Foundation we awarded 14 bicycles to community members and provided free helmets, locks, and lights thanks to Kryptonite.
For our bike scholarship awardees, who are typically financially challenged, in rehab, struggling with housing issues or recently arrived immigrants from Afghanistan, these bicycles are life changing. Some of this year’s awardees include:An individual who recently completed rehab and needed a bicycle for job searching and health benefits; he is currently using his bicycle to get to interviews for massage therapist positions.An individual who recently completed rehab and needed a bicycle for transportation to/from his job. Taking public transportation or ride share was taking away from his wages as a server in Old Town; His bicycle now provides a lower cost and more dependable form of transportationTwo Afghan refugee brothers with college degrees and supported the US government in Kabul arrived with their mom and needed bicycles to get to their jobs at restaurants since there was no public transportation and limited sidewalks for walking; Their bicycles provided transportation to/from their jobs which was otherwise a several mile walk each way.Three Afghan refugee brothers with previously great jobs (e.g. tech jobs and a medical doctor) needed bicycles for transportation to get food for their families and to get to job interviews; All 3 men were provided bicycles and now have all obtained employment in their respective fields. These are only a few of the individuals that we have helped over the course of the year. Again we thank our sponsors for donating money and lights/locks, the community for donating bicycles get used for the program. Lastly thanks to our staff and volunteers who support the logistics and mechanical support needed to get the bicycles rideable.
Our staff of Mike, Christian, Russel and Jack and core volunteers of Jim, Doc, Steve and Patti continue to provide great services through our shop to our community such as refurbishing bicycles, tune-ups and just being a great resource for bicycle related questions. Fun fact – We performed 288 tune-ups this year, that’s a lot of smooth running bicycles that are back on the streets. We also made some slight changes to our shop layout which allow more space toward the back of the shop for mechanical services. Lastly, we worked with Episcopal High School graphic design students to design our new t-shirt design. We loved how they came out. If you’re interested, stop by the shop to come pick one up.
Due to demand for bicycles, we opened our warehouse to the community on a monthly basis to offer more bicycles, parts and accessories for sale. We have found a lot of people love to go through our parts bins, incomplete bicycles, and inexpensive accessories as they build up bicycles on their own. These warehouse sales are also a great way to obtain a variety of bicycles at discounted prices compared to what is offered at the shop. During our October 2022 sale we partnered with Phoenix Bikes and plan to continue that partnership this year for some of our sales. Keep a lookout on our social media for announcements of our monthly sales likely starting in the Spring.
Veloteers refurbishing bicycles to be distributed in the community
We had another great year of providing free kids bicycles through our partnership with Community Lodgings. We are pleased to continue to work with them and love to hear their stories of how happy their kids are when we arrive with bicycles to give away. This year we provided 20 bicycles and cannot wait to provide more.
In addition, we worked with Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill and Alexandria Social Services during the holidays season to try to fulfill the wishes of families across Alexandria. Within less than a month, our volunteers were able to come together to fix up 32 bicycles across 14 different families. This accomplishment was a huge accomplishment especially around the holidays when everyone is busy with getting gifts for their own loved ones. We were again happy to make a difference in these families’ lives.
Thanks again to the Carlson Family Foundation and Simmons Family Foundation for their gracious donations
Velocity has been operating for over 12 years. Every year presents new challenges and requests to help people in need but the dedication from our staff and volunteers have allowed us to have another successful year. As we wrap-up our year, we’d like to leave you with a few resources covering how to support us or get involved!