Youth Earn-A-Bike graduates from ACE Charter High School get ready to take their new wheels for a test ride.

Organization: Bootstraps to Share of Tucson dba BICAS

Address: 2001 N. Seventh Ave., Tucson, 85705

Phone: 520-628-7950

Website: bicas.org

Bootstraps to Share, more commonly known as BICAS, is a community bicycle recycling and education center. Through advocacy and bicycle salvage, our mission is to participate in affordable bicycle transportation, education and creative recycling with the Tucson community.

For 29 years we have been promoting education, empowerment, art and a healthy environment while providing skills and opportunity for those in need, particularly low-income persons and youth.

Through donations and community support, BICAS provides the following services to those who would otherwise not have the opportunity: an Earn-A-Bike Program, youth ride clubs, work-trade options, community service, bike repair and community tool use. We believe in the bicycle as accessible transportation for all and a tool for self-empowerment.

BICAS first started in late 1989 as an organization called Bootstraps to Share. A group of like-minded community members came together to assist and empower the homeless population in Tucson, helping folks attain work, shelter, food and transportation.

Over the next few years, the organization focused on sustainable transportation as a requisite for sustainable work, determining their greatest impact was to provide recycled bicycles and the skills needed to maintain them. BICAS has since worked hard to close the transportation gap and help all of Tucson access their own mobility.

We offer opportunities for youth engagement through our Youth Earn-A-Bike (YEAB) course, youth drop-in hours, ride clubs and partnership classes. YEAB is a bicycle-repair course wherein youth develop tangible skills and self-confidence as they earn a bicycle, helmet, and lock.

YEAB supports social/emotional development, goal-setting, leadership practice, advanced problem-solving, teamwork, environmental stewardship, healthy lifestyle choices and the creation of more bike ambassadors and future safe drivers.

Youth practice their new skills every Saturday during youth drop-in by participating in community service projects.

Since our founding, we have trained thousands of youth and adults in the trade of bicycle repair, maintenance and safety, and restored thousands of bicycles, saving them from the waste stream. Today we serve over 10,000 customers annually in our community bike shop; on average, 250 bikes a year are earned through our Earn-a-Bike Program and over 5,100 hours of work-trade are traded for bicycles and services each year.

We rely on the support of our community to be able to offer affordable services, sliding-scale payment options and class scholarships.

Last year, your tax credits comprised 4 percent of our annual operating budget. Thank you for considering BICAS and supporting our vision.

Tags