Monday, April 10, 2006

The FIrst of Many Organizational Posts (soon to be located elsewhere too)


Mission: The Earn a Bike Program: Enriching the Community with Bikes and Happy Kids.
Elevator Statement: (From the Articles of Incorporation)Wheels for Winners is a volunteer program that uses refurbished bicycles as a vehicle for personal and community development of at-risk or disadvantaged youth and families.

Specific Objectives and Purposes
(from Bylaws)
To provide youth an opportunity to warn bicycles while becoming responsible and active members of the community
To provide bicycles for youth and adults who could not normally afford tham and to insist on a commitment to community service to earn these bicycles
To encourage greater community and family involvement in youth cycling.
To promote an increased awareness of safety among youth
To educate youth in the repair, maintenance and safe use of bicycles
To recycle used bicycles back into the community in a way that promotes positive community values

Our standard spiel for grants:
Wheels for Winners is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Madison, Wisconsin working for fundamental social change and demonstrating practical alternatives to economic and social injustice through our Earn-A-Bike Program. Wheels for Winners provides recycled bicycles to children who perform 15 hours of community service work. Typically, these bikes are awarded to children who fall into poor, disenfranchised, and racial minority segments of the Madison community.

Wheels for Winners seeks to promote and strengthen local community control through the more equitable distribution of wealth and resources by refurbishing discarded bicycles and redistributing them.

Wheels also promotes a cooperative society through its connection to community service and builds coalitions through our connections to the organizations who receive this community service. Wheels coordinates with over 12 community organizations in the Madison area. The community organizations receive volunteer labor from the children in the program and Wheels for Winners provides the incentive for volunteering: a free bicycle, lock, and helmet. Though Wheels for Winners provides bicycles to children while encouraging them to assist other community organizations, Wheels also provides an opportunity for many adult community members to learn bicycle mechanic skills and to volunteer. Many of our best volunteers are retired individuals or those who are differently-abled, bringing together many different types of members of the community.

Brief history of the organization and how it is governed.
Wheels for Winners began in 1992. The organization is governed by a volunteer 7 member board of directors. At this time, there is no paid staff at Wheels for Winners. In 2004 23 Wheels for Winners teen, adult, senior, and challenged volunteers donated over 2,230.5 hours on projects such as bicycle repairs, shop maintenance, bicycle maintenance, training, and promoting the Earn-a-Bike program. The volunteers include Charlotte Marshall, who has managed our office since we began and contributes over 8 hours per week to the program. Wheels for Winners is a member of Community Chip.

Past programs that have helped to serve our community at a grass-roots level.
Wheels for Winners’ primary program has always been the Earn a Bike Program. We have run community based bicycle repair programs in the past, notably in the Vera Court neighborhood. In 2005 Wheels successfully mentored seven student mechanics and also facilitated a neighborhood bicycle mechanic training at the Boys and Girls Club at Allied Drive. Wheels for Winners regularly works with community organizations at a grass roots level. In 2004 children associated with Bayview, Southside, East Community, Lincoln School, Northport, Prairie View Girl Scouts, Cross Plains Library, Monona Library, Neighborhood House, Allied Drive, Baptist Church, Small Wonder School, Lake Point volunteered over 2,025 hours of community service time. These community organizations assisted and supervised the children with their commitments and we provided the bicycles as their reward.

Wheels for Winners Earn a Bike Program
2310 Pennsylvania Avenue
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 249-2418
Shop Hours:
MW 12:30-4 PM
T,TH 6-8 PM
Please call ahead.

Mark Evans, Director,;
Jessica Gammey, Director,
Chuck McFarland,Vice President,
Gail Pizarro, Secretary,
Kim Slava, President,
Julie Smith, Director,
Dar Ward, Treasurer,
Charlotte Marshall, Volunteer Office Manager


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