88bikes Foundation Receives Prestigious Eddie Bauer/First Ascent Sponsorship
“Be First” program will help expand the nonprofit’s distribution of bikes to children in rural areas around the world
Brooklyn, NY – August 31, 2010 – 88bikes Foundation, a micro-philanthropy project that gives bikes to kids in developing countries, has been selected for sponsorship by expedition gear manufacturer Eddie Bauer/First Ascent through their “Be First” program, which supports groups that “endeavor to accomplish what has never been done, or that otherwise challenge the limits of what is possible, and embody the drive to be first and an untamable spirit of adventure.”
The grant will provide general support to VILLAGES, 88bikes’ fifth and biggest project to date. Taking place June through November 2010, 88bikes is reaching out to children in Africa, Mongolia, Latin America and the United States and on Native American reservations, focusing on small rural locations where their bikes can have a major impact.
“Eddie Bauer’s support is crucial in helping us fulfill our ambitious VILLAGES project during the next several months, and to expand and maintain our programs throughout the world. It’s wonderful to welcome a partner who believes as fervently as we do in the power of getting out there and experiencing life,” said Dan Austin, founder of 88bikes.
Continued Austin, “We were especially touched to hear that the company felt that this was something Eddie Bauer himself would have embraced.”
The goal of the VILLAGES project is to distribute 1,000 new bikes to local children. To date, 697 bikes have been sponsored through donations of $88 per bike. 88bikes also plan to set up four to five bike shop “hubs” serving these rural communities and establish bike shop apprenticeships and workshops for each location.
The project’s next “Moment of Happy”- the event where the children receive their bikes- is taking place in Mongolia in late August. They will be distributing 200-400 bikes to children in rural communities near Arvaikheer.
88Bikes was started in 2006 by Dan Austin, Nicolas Arauz, and Jared Austin. In November 2006, 88Bikes started its first project, in partnership with the Friends of Cambodian Children, to raise funds for 88 bikes. After exceeding its fundraising goal in just two weeks, the organization gave 88 bikes to 88 kids at the Palm Tree Orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in January 2007. In January of 2008, 88bikes completed its second project with the Global Youth Partnership for Africa in Patongo, Uganda, donating 200 bikes to children at a refugee camp in this war-torn region of Northern Uganda. 88bikes has since added endowment locations in Uganda, Peru, Vietnam, Nepal, India and Ghana.
It doesn’t always take a massive relief organization to tip the scales for joy and sustainability in places where children and young adults are challenged to be their own heroes. 88bikes provides a simple and direct opportunity to make a difference for a young person in the world: buy a child a bike! To get involved, check out 88bikes.org.
JAM Media Collective