SCCF donates rebuilt bicycles to local food pantry
Thanks to recent donations that have provided Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation interns and staff with a new bikes, the SCCF is refurbishing its old bikes and donating them to those in need.
Officials reported that the community goodwill effort was made possible by a recent donation of 10 bikes from Billy’s Bike Shop, plus a monetary donation from Deborah La Gorce through the SCCF gift catalog that allowed the purchase of six additional bikes for use by SCCF’s interns and staff.
SCCF Marine Lab Research Associate Mark Thompson and his son, Yuan, 10, are the brains and brawn behind the effort. They started working in mid-2019 to convert the near-dead bikes into useful units.
“At one time, our home looked like a bicycle battlefield, but we got organized and set up our own outdoor bike shop and slowly began producing some of the nicest rides this side of Tesla,” Thompson said.
In late 2019, Thompson and his son talked to Miriam Ortiz, founder of the Gladiolus Food Pantry in Harlem Heights, and found what they were looking for – a place that could find homes for the refurbished bikes and a way to reduce the bike overpopulation problem at their house.
“Miriam likes to get a few bikes a month and matches the bike with people who need transportation, or kids who have never had a bike,” Thompson said.
Now, the father-son team are in need of more bikes to restore and donate. Anyone contemplating throwing out their old bikes or those who have old parts lying around are asked to contact them first.
“Just text us at 239-410-5491,” Thompson said. “We will ride over with our bike wagons and pick up your old bike from the curb and give it new life and a new home.”