A group of former Peace Corps volunteers will be collecting used bikes and sewing machines on September 23 and 24th in Montpelier and Burlington. The items will be shipped to community projects in developing countries by Pedals for Progress, a New Jersey based non-profit.
Montpelier resident John Kim is helping to organize the event. He served in the Peace Corps in Morocco. “Bikes and sewing machines are life-changing technology for people in poverty,” says Kim. “Bikes allow people to get to school, work, and to markets. Sewing machines create dignified employment for people on the margins. Many Vermont households have a bike or sewing machine that’s just collecting dust. When they donate it this weekend, it will be sent to a community where it will make a huge difference for someone living at a subsistence level.
The group asks for a $15 donation with each item, to defray part of the $50 per item international shipping cost.
Since 1999, Vermonters have donated more than 4,500 bikes and 900 sewing machines through this annual collection. These items have been shipped to community projects in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Moldova, Fiji and Vietnam. “We don’t know yet where this year’s bikes and sewing machines will be going – but we are 100% sure that they will change peoples’ lives for the better” says Kim.
The new president of Pedals for Progress, Alan Schultz, will be coming from the group’s New Jersey headquarters to help with the weekend events. “The generosity of Vermonters is remarkable,” says Schultz. “The quality and quantity of bikes and sewing machines that have come from this event in Vermont every year for 24 years, is impressive. I’m really looking forward to being part of it this year.”
Local residents can learn more, or volunteer to help, at the group’s Facebook page “Pedals for Progress Vermont” or email P4PVermont@gmail.com or call Paul at 802-793-0888.
Pedals for Progress Bike & Sewing Machine Collection
Friday, September 23, 2022, 3:00 pm to 7:00 p.m. National Life Group upper parking, Montpelier
Saturday, September 24, 2022 9am to 1 pm. Burton Snowboards HQ, Queen City Park Rd, Burlington
A donation of $15 is requested with each item to help with shipping