When the pandemic despatched individuals residence from their common workplace jobs, Purple Financial institution resident Blake Pierce and some of his neighbors discovered themselves on a journey to do one thing to assist.

“It actually began as a storage undertaking for a number of of us,” Pierce stated in a telephone interview. “We noticed a necessity for youths within the space who wanted entry to bikes, and we began off with simply getting a couple of to repair up, after which the White Oak Bicycle Cooperative was shaped and simply took off.”

Pierce teamed up with pals and neighbors Christian Gonzalez and Andrew Jones, and between the three of them, the cooperative was capable of present greater than 170 bicycles to kids and adults in want throughout 2021 because of native organizations and bike outlets that got here alongside the nonprofit group.

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“Within the two quick years that we have been in operation, we now have donated over 300 bicycles, however extra importantly, we have impacted over 300 lives,” Gonzalez stated in an e-mail. “These bicycles have been utilized to both present members in our neighborhood to have a way of transportation or for kids to remain wholesome and energetic.”

To have fun two years of serving to, White Oak Bicycle Cooperative is internet hosting a donation drive at Intelligent Alehouse, 2122 Dayton Blvd., from noon-6 p.m. Aug. 20. The neighborhood is requested to herald gently used kids’s and youth bicycles for the nonprofit group to proceed its work offering entry to transportation and outside recreation.

“Our greatest discovery all through this journey has been the necessity for bikes for transportation,” Pierce stated. “Particularly in downtown Chattanooga for the homeless neighborhood, that is the principle supply to get round, they usually might not have the assist to restore or keep their bicycles, and we work to do all we will to assist with that.”

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Volunteers that associate with White Oak Bicycle Cooperative go to many various organizations and shelters within the space to assist present restore and upkeep companies. These locations embody the Group Kitchen, native drug and rehab amenities and extra as they attain out and share their wants, Pierce stated.

Whereas the nonprofit group was based within the Purple Financial institution neighborhood and maintains its roots there, it is since grown to serve the better Chattanooga space, even going so far as Dalton, Georgia, to a shelter with people who had transportation wants, Pierce stated.

With regard to the donation drive at Intelligent Alehouse, Pierce stated the main focus goes to be on kids and youth because the cooperative appears to be like forward to the Christmas season and hopes to replenish its stock for these in want.

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“We’ll take your bikes and dial them up as a lot as we will,” he stated. “It is essential to us that once we give a baby a motorcycle, they don’ t even know it is a used bike. We put that high quality work into each one we obtain so it could actually final them for a very long time.”

White Oak Bicycle Cooperative opened a workshop, retail and workplace house in February of this 12 months, and 4 places, function common donation spots, together with (be)caffeinated, Purple Financial institution Hearth Station #1, Purple Financial institution Recycling Middle and Sweat Membership, in response to a information launch.

“As we shut out the rest of 2022, we look ahead to continued partnerships with individuals, companies and organizations inside Purple Financial institution, as all of us work collectively to enhance the well being and well-being of our neighborhood,” Pierce stated.

To study extra in regards to the White Oak Bicycle Cooperative, go to whiteoakbicycle.org or e-mail [email protected]

E mail Brandi Dixon at [email protected]