My name is Nicole Basil, and I am the founder and president of Pedal Power. When I was 8 years old, I had outgrown my favorite bike of all time, and I was not ready to just give it to anybody (it was pink with purple streamers on the handlebars. I mean, come on, who would want to give that up?). I wanted it to go to someone who deserved such a special bike. With the help of my family and local business, we created the bike charity Pedal Power. Annually, we host a bike drive day in the fall where people can bring bikes they want to donate. Some of the local bike shops in the suburbs of Chicago agree to be a donation center one day out of the year. On the same day, we then pick up all the bikes with rented trucks and we drop them off at a school in Chicago. After doing this for 10 years, almost 3,500 bikes have been donated through Pedal Power to students in Chicago.
Initially, our mission was to give bikes to children who didn’t have them, but now, after connecting with the Chicago Public School system, and we distribute bikes through inner city schools to students who make Honor Roll. This gives unused, outgrown bikes a new home and it rewards academic achievement in underprivileged neighborhoods. It has been incredibly special to grow up with this charity, and I can’t express in words how much of an impact it has had not only on the recipients of the bikes, but on my family and me as well.
A bike can take you far, but good grades and hard work will take you anywhere in the world.
If you want to make a difference in your own town, please take a look at the application on our home page and consider starting a chapter.