Bikes Not Bombs
is a not-for-profit organization
located in Roxbury
MA (in the Boston
Area). Originaly called "Send Bikes Not Bombs to Nicaragua," Bikes Not Bombs
s to Nicaragua during their civil war
in the eighties. As the civil war (and U.S. support of the war in Nicoragua) ended, the organization decided to reduce their name to Bikes Not Bombs
When the organization was originally founded, by Karl Kurx, its only goal was to collect donated bikes and ship them to Nicaragua. Karl thought first and foremost that it was wrong for anyone to support or make war. Also, looking around America in the eighties, Karl was disappointed at how much of the infrastructure was car oriented and not designed to accommodate bikes. He figured that, in other countries, if enough people rode bikes before the majority of the national infrastructure was built, the government would respond by building more bike paths. Since then, Bikes Not Bombs has sent bikes to other South American countries along with Nicaragua.
Today, as well as sending bikes to other countries, BNB has opened up a youth program entitled Earn A Bike. In this program, teenagers from the Roxbury area, who might not otherwise be able to afford a bike, pay twenty dollars for an eight-week program in bike mechanics. At the end of the two months, the kids are allowed to keep a donated bike that they have fixed up. This type of program has been copied over and over again throughout the east coast. Bikes Not Bombs was the first to run such a program.
For the amount of money this not-for-profit has, it truly accomplishes an incredible amount. Bikes Not Bombs works off of a two-hundred-thousand dollar budget. One third of their funding comes from individual donations, one third from grants, and one third from a bike shop they run. They have a great website if you're interested in finding out more.