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Temple B’nai Abraham Bike Collection (& Portable Sewing Machines, too!) for Pedals for Progress

Jackie Schatell

Sunday, March 16, 2014 • 6:55am

LIVINGSTON, NJ - On Sunday, April 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Temple B’nai Abraham’s Social Action and Membership Committees and Men’s Club is spon­soring a bicycle and sewing machine collection for Pedals for Progress (P4P), a non-profit New Jersey-based charity that collects processes and donates used bicycles and sewing machines to the work­ing poor in third-world countries. The event will take place at the temple, which is located at 300 E. Northfield Road. For information regarding the TBA collection, please call 973-994-2290 or the temple website

According to the P4P website, the charity promotes bicycle repair businesses in the devel­oping world and is helping people by promoting self-sustaining bicycle repair businesses. And, contributing to P4P is considered making progress without pollution. 

In 24 years, P4P’s international grand total for bicycles collected and reissued is 140,383 and for sewing machines the total is 2,678. The 2013 totals are: 3,598 bikes and 277sewing machines.

About the Temple B’nai Abraham Collection:

Bicycles must be relatively rust free (no bikes with rusted frames will be accepted) and in repairable condition, and sewing machines must be in working portable condition.

Because it costs on average $40 a bike to get them to their new home fixed up, the temple is requesting a minimum donation of $10 to accompany every bike to support the shipping and handling costs. The portable sewing machines will be piggybacked onto the bike shipments.

Note: The collection at B’nai Abraham will only take place on the date and time frame listed above—no early or late drop-offs will be accepted. For information regarding other collection sites and dates, please contact the Pedals for Progress NJ headquarters at 908.638.4811 or visit the P4P website

What Happens to the Bicycles?

According to the site, the charity rescues bicycles destined for overburdened U.S. landfills or years of taking up space in basements, attics and sheds, and ships them to developing countries. There, P4P bikes are put to work not only as basic transportation, but are used as a supplement to school and community programs. The bikes are also sometimes adapted for use as trash haulers, produce trucks, taxis, and farm machinery. In addition, some of the municipalities even sponsor recreational cycling programs, making bikes available to all who care to participate.

In addition to providing bikes to needy countries, the charity also acts to foster the development of local economies by teaching community members a new skill. Children and adults are trained in bicycle maintenance and repair, and the bicycles are sold within the community. In addition, if a person wants to have a bicycle but cannot pay for it, that person can work for the shop (and learn a new skill) in order to cover the cost of the bicycle.

P4P also arranges for bicycle shops to have a regular supply of tools, parts, accessories, and lubricants for maintaining the bikes. With P4P, a bicycle becomes a valuable commodity for trade, employment, transportation, local government.

The site says that in the countries where P4P has an established Partner Programs, the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who use bicycles to get to work and deliver the goods and service where they are needed most, allowing them to expand their businesses and increase their personal incomes.

In addition, the bikes benefit medical personnel in remote areas who rely on bicycles to get them to villages that are not accessible by roads. Without these “mobile bike medics,” people in these villages would not get the vaccines or medical attention needed.

What Happens to the Sewing Machines?

Once the sewing machines arrive, seamstresses and tailors alike can acquire their most valuable tool and begin a business. Students can learn to sew—many of these machines will outfit programs in schools teaching people a valuable skill they can use anywhere.

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