Marietta ministry provides refurbished bicycles to people who need reliable, safe transportation.
Growing up in Chicago, bikes were an everyday part of Doug Wils life. A bike made it easy to get around the city.
More than 20 years later, that early attachment to bike transportation has driven Doug's support of a Marietta ministry that provides refurbished bicycles to people in need of reliable, safe transportation back and forth from work.
"We found that this bike ministry went hand in hand with our church outreach to help people in our community," says Doug, a volunteer at Marietta First United Methodist Church. "Transportation is so important for people to get to work and support themselves and their families."
Created three years ago, the MFUMC bike ministry has provided more than 60 used bikes to people through the church's job ministry. Many use the Cobb County Transit System to get to work, which provides space for bikes so that people can combine the bus routes with bike transportation.
Bikes are donated or sourced through auctions and places like Goodwill. In addition to safe bikes, the ministry also provides helmets and bike locks.
"We don't just give out bikes," says Doug, who manages the bike ministry with Dick Trumball. "We make sure it's a bike that fits, and that the person receiving the bike knows how to ride."
While the pandemic has interrupted church work days, the bike repairs haven't stopped, says Doug. He and Dick work on the bikes in their own garages with parts from unusable bikes, following an inspection process that assures everyone gets a bike that's safe and road ready.
He hopes to soon return to work days at the church, where volunteers as young as elementary school students have helped wash and repair about eight bikes in a day, he says.
"The work that this ministry does is inspirational for the community," says Doug. "Bikes are a low investment that can make a big difference."
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