Coeur d’Alene non-profit fixes up donated bikes for those who can’t afford them

A Coeur d’Alene non-profit is fixing up donated bikes for a good cause.

So far this year, Lake City Bicycle Collective has given away 300 bikes, about one-third of which were given out this holiday season alone.

Founder Tom Morgan said most of the bikes at his shop are given to him from the community.

“We’ll take in enough bikes to keep us working for, until April, off of peoples’ holiday kindness,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

He and other volunteers then take apart the bikes to build new ones, which are given out to people in need.

“I came from a low-income family, and so I remember just thinking ‘I’m never going to have a bike, there’s no bike for me,” said Morgan.

In return, Morgan says the shop is always in need of donations and volunteers, so they can continue to make a difference in people’s lives.

“It’s not just about kids, we’re helping a homeless woman in here today get a bicycle to get around. She’ll use her bike in a way we use a car,” Morgan continued. “A bicycle is, it’s an amazing tool. It’s not just a toy, it’s a tool.”

The non-profit holds “Take Apart Tuesdays” where he and other volunteers strip bicycles and find other uses for bike parts. One volunteer said parts from three old bikes could turn into one new one for a kid or person in need.

“We don’t want to see the stuff that’s left over just end up in the garbage,” Morgan added.

On Saturday, Brianna Jewett and her two kids brought a few bicycles in, some to get fixed and another to donate to Morgan. In return, Jewett asked for a new bike for her daughter this Christmas.

“This year was a little tougher than usual. I thought that I wouldn’t need any help from Toys for Tots or stuff like that,” Jewett said. “I was actually in more need this year than ever.”

Morgan said they work with many other non-profits in giving bikes to those in need. Kootenai Health also donates helmets to Morgan so they can be given out to the kids, too.

While he does sell some bicycles and parts, he mostly gives them away. In return, he just wants people to either donate money, their time or another bike.

“You can give your time, you can sweep floors, if you’re not comfortable with using tools. There’s something that you can do,” he said.

To learn more about Lake City Bicycle Collective, visit their website here.