Throughout the 2018-19 academic year, Stony Brook University students and staff collected 125 bicycles and $1,250 for transportation costs and donated them to the charity organization Pedals for Progress (P4P). In three years, the fundraising efforts have nearly tripled.
On May 3, 2019, volunteers loaded the bicycles in a shipping crate ready to be sent overseas. “To some of us, bikes are just a recreational toy to use and have fun with, but for someone less fortunate that same bike could deeply change lives for the better when put to good use,” said Shakeel Howell, chapter president of Phi Delta Psi Fraternity. The volunteers were from student groups including Phi Delta Psi, Sigma Delta Tau, and Sigma Iota Sigma, Chill Peer Education Program, and student employees from the Residential Risk Management, a division of Campus Residences.
“The bicycles donated to P4P will support developing countries by encouraging economic growth and self-sustaining efforts to create jobs and opportunity,” said Kathleen Valerio, a health educator and peer program coordinator at SBU.
With the collaborative efforts between the student groups, Chill Peer Education Program, and campus departments of Student Health, Wellness and Prevention Services, Recreation and Wellness, and Campus Residences, this year’s fundraising outcome raised the bar even higher than previous years. During the first year, 47 bicycles were donated and 83 for the second year.
“We’ve had to add collaborators. With more bicycle donations, we needed additional fundraising and had to recruit support,” said Kathleen when discussing the increased success throughout the years. “I have a deep appreciation for the shared fundraising success.”
P4P is an international non-profit organization that acquires unwanted bicycles and used sewing machines and ships them to developing countries throughout the world. More than 155,000 bicycles, 4,000 used sewing machines, and $10.8 million in new spare parts have benefited communities that are in need of low-cost and environmentally friendly transportation.
— Cohen Miles-Rath