2018 has been a transformative year for BikeVentura, but also for all of Ventura County and the South Coast. After the Thomas Fire, our community rallied to support those who lost their homes. BikeVentura shifted our priorities to raise funds directly for the United Way, and then got a call from Giant Bicycles that put our organization to an early test. They wanted to donate 200 bikes to get to people who lost everything in the fire, and wanted to know if we could receive, build, and distribute them. Having just moved into a new space, we were apprehensive – could we store and build these bikes? Could we get enough volunteer support? How important could a bicycle be to someone who’s home had just burned down?
We then saw what #Venturastrong was all about. Over 50 volunteers showed up to help build 100 bikes in one day, coordinate distribution, and Channel Islands Bike Club jumped in to provide helmets and locks to everyone that got a bike. After a second distribution, a couple weeks later, we had done it, and the gratitude from bike recipients was incredible. After proving to ourselves we had an amazing community to serve, we kept the momentum throughout the year. We’ve done more than ever to teach young people safe riding skills, hosted more bike valet at local events than the last four years combined, we’ve helped almost 30 low or no-income residents earn a free bicycle, and our shop is twice as busy as in 2017.
We’re so honored to announce that BikeVentura has been selected for the Poinsettia Award for Nonprofit of the Year by the Ventura Chamber of Commerce, which recognizes an organization whose activities and accomplishments have impacted and improved the quality of life for the citizens of the City of Ventura. So many organizations have done so much to help our City and community recover, and to be counted among them is humbling. We look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Ventura and make it a safer place for people who want to experience our city on a bike, on foot, or any mode of transportation.
Join us to celebrate this accolade at Leashless Brewing on December 6th from 6-8:30pm. You can RSVP and share the event on facebook by clicking the button below: