It’s pretty simple, really. Maybe your bike’s chain is rusted beyond repair or its tires are permanently flat. Maybe you just picked up a brand new bike and simply don’t use your old one anymore. However you got to this point, the fact is, you’re the proud owner of at least one bicycle that you no longer need, and the last thing you should do is throw it out.
Speaking with Paul Wylie, the Operations Manager at Cycle Salvation, we were able to take a closer look at the organization, and we`re more than happy to share what we learned.
What does Cycle Salvation do?
Operating under the umbrella of Causeway Work Centre and working with its sister organization, re-Cycles, Cycle salvation teaches bike mechanics to economically disadvantaged people and employs them in their shop, where they refurbish donated bikes, parts, and accessories, and sell them to the community. According to Paul, the process is pretty straightforward, and all you have to do to donate is drop off your bike at one of their specified locations. From there, the bike is picked up and brought to the shop at 473 Bronson Avenue, stripped and refurbished, and finally sent out the door with a new owner and a bright yellow Cycle Salvation sticker on its frame.
Why do they do it?
Following their parent organization’s lead, Cycle Salvation exists primarily to provide valuable and rewarding work to members of the community who are economically disadvantaged or hard-to-employ for another reason. In addition to this, repurposing bicycles is also extremely effective in reducing the amount of waste coming from our city, which demonstrates the organization’s environmental impact.
In Paul’s eyes, one of the biggest successes of Cycle Salvation is the fact that the business is able to run smoothly without his involvement. He oversees operations but is able to focus on higher level tasks while different members of his trusted team take care of handling payments, answering phone calls, and doing the repair work on their own. For Paul, the growth of the organization’s impact, as well as the growth of his team, are among the greatest rewards from his job.
With plans for growth on the table, Paul and his team at Cycle Salvation continue to do what they do best; provide salvation for bikes, and meaningful employment for people.
Want to learn more about Cycle Salvation or find out where you can donate a bike? Check out their website: https://www.cyclesalvation.org/
Want to learn about other social enterprises in Ottawa? Read our other sector snapshots, or browse through our social enterprise directory: https://weallprofit.ca/