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The Working Bikes Cooperative is a not-for-profit tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, which diverts bicycles from the waste stream in Chicago by repairing them for sale and charity.
Working Bikes is primarily volunteer-driven. Currently it receives no government or foundation money. All its operations are funded through the sale of bicycles at its storefront. Working Bikes uses that money to provide bicycles to charity organizations within Chicagoland and to ship bicycles to the Gulf Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Angola, Cuba, Guatemala, and Peru.
In the countries to which Working Bikes ships, a bicycle can often mean the difference between work and unemployment. The bicycle is the primary means of vehicular transportation for the majority of the population and is used both for personal transportation and for carrying cargo.
By volunteering your time at Working Bikes you aid an organization that is doing good work both locally and internationally. This is a laid-back, fun group that works hard to get the job done (they often spring for lunch for all the volunteers). Some of the opportunities that volunteers can take a part in include: repairing bicycles, preparing and packing bikes for shipping overseas, organizing and helping customers in the Working Bikes Store, picking up donations, networking with other organizations, and helping spread the word.