Pictured: Long Island bike and sewing machine collection in in 2021.
It’s time to put those old bicycles and sewing machines to good use. On Saturday, May 13 (rain or shine) from 11 am to 2 pm, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Long Island will hold its annual used bicycle and sewing machine collection in the parking lot of South Huntington Public Library (145 Pidgeon Hill Road, Huntington Station). The items collected will then be reconditioned by the international non-profit Pedals for Progress (P4P) and sent to Belize.
The mission of P4P is to foster sustainable economic development by recycling bicycles and sewing machines from the US and shipping them to motivated people in the developing world. For many in the US, Belize is seen as an ideal vacation destination but beyond the beaches lies tremendous poverty. Approximately 50% of Belize’s population is children and youth below the age of nineteen. A large percentage of this population is concentrated in the urban ghettos of the south-side of Belize City, specifically in the Port Loyola area. Many of these children live in poverty and are exposed to violence, crime, and civil unrest.
Information about the P4P Belize program can be found at: https://www.p4p.org/category/belize.
This is the 19th bike/sewing machine collection organized by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Long Island. To date, RPCVLI has collected 1707 bicycles and 282 sewing machines that have been distributed to Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Guatemala, Albania and Kosovo. amongst others.
“Members of Returned Peace Corps volunteers of Long Island see this project as a way of continuing our commitment to support programs in developing countries,” says Kathy Williams-Ging of Huntington Station, who was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru and is co-coordinator of the May 13th collection..
Anyone with an adult or child’s bicycle in repairable condition or a working portable sewing machine is urged to donate the item. Since it costs $40 to collect, process, ship, rebuild and distribute each bicycle, a donation toward shipping costs is necessary (suggested minimum $20 per item). All cash and material donations are fully deductible and a receipt will be provided on site. The program does not accept “bikes for parts,” disassembled bikes or tricycles.