Bike donation program helps those in need through Mitch Albom’s SAY Detroit charity

“Hello, we have some bikes for you,” said Teresa King.

King dropped off a donation at Somerset Collection in Troy – where they collect bikes every Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“They’ve been sitting in the garage for several years, so we thought it was probably a good time,” she said.

A good time for a good cause – writer and philanthropist Mitch Albom appealed for help in the Detroit Free Press on Sunday.

“Transportation in Detroit is a huge problem for people in economic difficulty because it’s hard to buy a car – it’s hard to pay for insurance,” Albom said.

Albom is the founder of SAY Detroit Charities — working with people in need — and he says one thing a lot of people need — is transportation.

“What is the easiest and environmentally friendly means of transport – a bicycle, which most of the time, unless you are in a heavy snowstorm, you can use it in all weathers”, did he declare.

Bikes to help people get to work, school, wherever they need to go – a new company that refurbishes old bikes donated by people right here in the Detroit metro area.

“We can start with used bikes, refurbish them and then start making new bikes – we could start a small factory, create jobs for the people we’re trying to help and create a bike that looks recognizable, which becomes a new form of transport in the automobile city,” he said.

It’s called Mi Cycle and it will mean new opportunities for many Detroiters.

“Walking three or four miles is a long distance sometimes – riding a bike would be a really good way to get people to work on time,” Chad Audi said.

Writer and philanthropist Mitch Albom.

Audi is the president and CEO of Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries – working to help homeless people find homes and new jobs. And these generous donors are simply delighted to see their old bikes back on the road.

“I’ve had this bike for 20 years and haven’t used it more than once or twice,” Norm Shell said. “I used to ride all the time, but I’m too old now – so it’s time to pass it on to someone younger and more energetic.”

“I was a cyclist before and really loved it – hopefully someone else will,” said Gary Butynski.

Somerset is even giving donors a $25 gift card — which Susan Hier — donated — right away — along with her bike.

“I said please give it to someone in need,” she said. “Happy Valentine’s Day – have a heart.”

You can drop off used bikes at the back of Somerset North every Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To learn more about SAY Detroit and the Bike Donation Program, visit the site HERE.

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