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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Heroes of the Week: DreamBikes Mentors, Volunteers and Youth Staff

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 The nonprofit DreamBikes focuses on helping youth develop the necessary life skills and work experience needed to become successful adults. With shop locations in Madison (4245 W. Beltline Highway) and their newest one in Milwaukee (2021A N. Martin Luther King Drive), youth ages 15-21 are hired as staff and learn how to refurbish bicycles while developing skills such as promptness, accountability and a strong work ethic. DreamBikes pays each of its youth employees with the money earned from bike, accessory and repair sales to help instill in them a sense of ownership and increased self-esteem and self-worth. The organization also provides access to affordable, quality bikes to those in need, and works to prevent many used bikes from ending up in landfills. Last year, DreamBikes Milwaukee sold nearly 750 bikes and gave away 150 to needy individuals, with more than 1,000 bikes coming through the shop. This year, DreamBikes Milwaukee is looking to move about 1,250 bikes through the shop.

“We are pretty much the only bike shop that services Milwaukee’s inner city,” says Russell Jobs, DreamBikes Milwaukee’s general manager. “Our bikes help the community by providing the freedom that riding a bike brings.”

DreamBikes Milwaukee is always looking for donations of bikes and anything bike related, including clothes, parts, tools, accessories and even strollers/wagons. Volunteers are always needed to help youth with bike repairs and to act as career counselors and customer service advisors. For more information, visit dream-bikes.org or stop by the shop to see the youth and mentors in action. 

On May 21 at 5:30 p.m., the DreamBikes Milwaukee location will host their Dream Street BBQ benefit, which will feature food, refreshments, a raffle and a silent auction. For more information, email Lexie@dream-bikes.org or Russell@dream-bikes.org.