Advancing Macomb to collect bikes for youths in need

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 2, 2016

Photo by Erin Sanchez

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Advancing Macomb, a civic leadership group, is in the process of hosting its inaugural East Side Bike Drive to collect gently used bicycles for families in need.

The weeklong Shelby Township bike drive kicked off Saturday, Oct. 29, and will conclude Nov. 6.

Bikes can be dropped off at the Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. through Nov. 5 and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 6.

Melissa Roy, executive director of Advancing Macomb, said one of the county’s greatest assets is its bike trails.

“Everybody should be able to enjoy the bike trails and recreate,” Roy said. “Kids should have access to their first bike. There are probably a lot of bikes sitting around in garages in Macomb County.”

The drive, she said, is taking place in two rounds. The first round — including Mount Clemens, Roseville, Eastpointe, Clinton Township and Sterling Heights — just concluded, with a yield of approximately 400 bikes.

The second round includes Shelby, Washington, Macomb and Harrison townships.

Roy said Advancing Macomb is actively seeking volunteers to clean and fix the bikes it receives this winter in order to distribute them in the spring of 2017.

“The donations have been very generous. There’s about to be a lot of lucky kids,” she said. “We’re appreciative of any volunteers we can get. We’ll start fixing the bikes after the holidays are over.”

In order to identify which families would receive bikes, Roy said, Advancing Macomb reached out to local agencies and school districts that deal directly with residents.

“We’re more of a leadership and connection agency,” she said. “It’s off to a good start.”

PRM Director Joe Youngblood said he was excited about the bike drive and commended Advancing Macomb for orchestrating the initiative.

“We’re happy to be a part of it,” Youngblood said. “(We’re pleased) any time we can give back to or assist with kids getting bicycles and promoting the trail system in Shelby Township.”

The Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department is located at 52700 Van Dyke Ave., south of 24 Mile Road.

For more information, visit www.eastsidebikedrive.com, email volunteer@advancingmacomb.com or call (586) 651-0055.