Written by Joel on June 23, 2020/Park Tool News
Park Tool Announces Winners of 5th Annual Tool Grants
Park Tool Company is proud to announce the winners of their 2020 Community Tool Grants. For the fifth consecutive year the company will award ten non-profit, bicycle related programs with shop quality tools and repair stands. The Tool Grants will help them expand and improve programs that make a huge difference in their communities.
Each of the ten grant recipients will receive over $1,400 in Park Tool products including:
- 1 — Park Tool PK-4 Professional Mechanic Tool Kit
- 2 — Park Tool PCS-10.2 Portable Repair Stands
- 5 — Park Tool SA-1 Shop Aprons
- 1 — Park Tool BBB-4 Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair
This year’s President’s Choice Award was granted to Visalia PAL / Police Activities League of Visalia, CA, providing them with an additional $1,000 to spend on tools and repair equipment for their non-profit.
“Out of all the applications we received this year, I was moved by the community service the Visalia Pal (Police Activities League) was doing in their area. Their bicycle repair shop is fairly new, yet still in need of some high-quality tools. We’re proud to award PAL the President’s Choice award and look forward to seeing how they expand their programs by putting these new tools to work. Over 250 qualified organizations applied for this year’s grants so to narrow it down to the final ten is a difficult task. We feel this year’s winners represent a diverse collection of people doing great work and utilizing the bicycle as their way to serve others,” noted Eric Hawkins, Park Tool’s president/owner and chief mechanic.
The 2020 Park Tool Community Tool Grant Winners are:
Sand Box BMX — Honolulu, HI
Sandbox BMX is a nonprofit BMX race track and the only BMX track located in the Hawaiian Islands. The track services close to 200 local riders annually and sees many new military families that begin the sport of BMX in the islands and continue on the mainland.
Freedom Machines — Glen Falls, NY
Freedom Machines NY provides bikes to anyone in recovery from drugs or alcohol. To date, they have delivered around 800 bikes to deserving individuals looking for a better life. They have an all-volunteer staff with 3 main people running the day to day operations along with countless other volunteers helping when they can. They partner with recovery centers and opioid diversion programs in the area, holding bike repair classes at their shop which are often followed by a group ride.
Bluegrass Ambucs — Lexington, KY
Based in Lexington Kentucky, Bluegrass Ambucs is an organization dedicated to providing adapted bicycles to children with special needs throughout Central Kentucky. Year after year, they continue to grow the number of bikes given away throughout the state of Kentucky.
OAR Ride to Reentry — Richmond, VA
OAR is a non-profit dedicated to serving the people of Richmond, Virginia who are returning from incarceration. Ride to Reentry is one of the programs they offer that help their clients overcome hurdles of reentry, specifically transportation. Each of the clients receive a bicycle, lights, lock, pump, and patch kit with the completion of the course, where they are taught bicycle-specific laws, safety, and maintenance.
Love Inc of the Black Hills—THRIVE Ministry — Rapid City, SD
THRIVE teaches area youth life and employment skills based around the operations of a Consignment Adventure Gear store. This includes repairing donated bicycles that get sold in the shop or donated to those who struggle with employment transportation.
Kiwanis Club of Anacortes — Anacortes, WA
This Kiwanis chapter operates a thrift shop that accepts and resells household items, furniture and bicycles. Approximately $170,000 is raised each year that goes to scholarships, educational and health projects, primarily to help children. In addition to the low-income population served by the shop, they also help those with an even greater need by organizing a bike drive for the local Salvation Army at Christmas time. For that effort they repair bicycles recovered by the local police dept plus others donated for the occasion. Last year they had almost 50 bikes to be gifted for the holiday.
Visalia PAL / Police Activities League — Visalia, CA
Visalia PAL is a city-wide afterschool program that puts, kids, cops, and caring citizens together. Activities such as boxing, computer games, bike repair, summer camp, and sports serve both boys and girls ages 7-17 with an emphasis placed on reaching those who are “at-risk”.
Their Visalia PAL Bike Repair Shop opened Oct. 8, 2018, at the Witmann Community Center shared with PRO-YOUTH Visalia. The current staff includes one PAL Officer and two Visalia Volunteer Police Officers with monthly guest bike enthusiasts.
Crescent Valley Resource Centre (CVRC)—The Saint John Bike Share Program — Saint John, NB, Canada
The CVRC is a registered charity providing food security, literacy, recreation, and basic needs programs, along with information and referral services to a diverse population in one of Saint John’s priority neighborhoods. Most of the residents in the area (375 family apartments) are clients of the NB Dept. of Social Development. The neighborhood has received more refugee families in the past three years than any other area of Saint John.
Established in 2014, the Bike Share Program accepts donations of used bikes which get repaired and then distributed to families in need throughout the city including a new helmet with each bike.
Discovery Routes Trails Organization — North Bay, ON, Canada
In 2015, Discovery Routes coordinated a Bicycle Education Program to teach youth bicycle safety skills to encourage them to start riding to school. A significant number of youths would arrive to the program with bikes in poor repair, ill fitting, without proper safety equipment or were simply unable to participate because they did not have a bicycle. It was this observation that initiated the first ReCYCLE Bikes program aimed at providing opportunities for youth to participate. In that first year, 30 youth bicycles were redistributed to the community through local schools. ReCYCLE Bikes is a program that accepts used bicycles from the community at large. The bikes are then refurbished by volunteer bike mechanics using new or salvaged parts and outfitted with all required safety equipment. All refurbished bicycles are distributed to North Bay and area residents that need a bicycle.
Roskill Bike Kitchen run by the Active Transport Trust — Auckland, NZ
Part of the Active Transport Fund, the Roskill Bike Kitchen was formed after they surveyed the community in 2016 and found that the biggest barrier to people riding was that they could not afford a bicycle. The program has repaired and given away 420 (donated) bicycles since the Bike Kitchen opened. Working in partnership with the New Zealand Red Cross, the great majority of the bicycles go to former refugee families. The Bike Kitchen also started a new program called “Bike Train” which will provide bicycles and adult marshals for groups of children who want to ride together to local schools.