Remember that feeling of nervous excitement when you got your first bike? I do. Like most children, I was a tiny ball of energy desperately seeking an appropriate outlet while learning to behave accordingly from the surrounding adults. A bike meant freedom. A bike meant adventure and mystery. It was my ticket to interacting with other children and coming and going as I pleased rather than being forced to befriend whichever little rugrat my parents placed me in front of.

A bike is a milestone in the journey of growing up. It is an intrinsic part of our culture in teaching kids about independence and responsibility.

But bicycles don’t just appear out of thin air, like money doesn’t grow on trees. A bike is a staple for most children but a luxury for many.

Thankfully, there are several organizations out there that know how important bikes are for kids and understand the tough times that many of the dwindling middle class and lower class face in this economy.

Recycle bikes for kids is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide one free bike to any kid and to offer adults the opportunity to earn a bike by volunteering. Since 2008 Recycle bikes for kids has been collecting bikes through individual donations, community based bike drives and scrapyard donations.  Volunteers fix and shine the bikes to make them ready for their next adventure.

FB4K is a powerhouse, global organization giving free bikes to kids. FB4K started up in 2008 and gave away 300 bikes, last year they rolled out 5000 bikes. In the last eight years over 30,000 bikes have rolled through giveaways and they are not done yet, FB4K has their sights set on giving bikes away world-wide.

Together we rise also took off in 2008 and focuses on working with hundreds of foster agencies, social workers, CASA advocates, and other partners to bring  programs to foster youth across the nation. The foundation has provided thousands of foster youth across the country with new bicycles, college supplies, and suitcases so that children do not have to travel from home to home with their belongings in a trash bag.

So, before you scrap those old bikes in the back of the garage or shed; research some local cycle recycling organizations and help provide underprivileged youth with their essential set of wheels!