Farmington Hills-based The Shirt Box, the store-of-choice for men’s fashions, and Walled Lake-based Kenny’s Lakes Area Auto Experts (Lakes Area Auto Experts), a vehicle repair shop, will once again hold a bike drive at their respective shops through Fri., Sept. 23. The donations will benefit Back Alley Bikes (BAB), located in Detroit, who will put the bicycles in the hands of students in need this school year.
Bikes of all sizes and conditions, as well as new bike helmets, will be accepted.
Founded in 2000, BAB, a 501(c)3, is a community bike shop and repair and resource center that provides cycling education and services with a focus on youth development, sustainable practices and community access. The organization accepts donations of used bikes of any type, style and condition for its Earn a Bike program for youth ages 10 to 17. There, participants learn how to fix the bike, which they then keep. Alternatively, for children under 10, the nonprofit will repair the bike prior to the donation. Last year, nearly 400 bikes were given to families or earned by youth.
“Last year, Lakes Area Auto Experts and The Shirt Box started this event to help kids who need bikes the most and it was a huge success,” said Ron Elkus, co-owner of The Shirt Box. “I am looking forward to seeing how many we can collect over the upcoming weeks.”
“We cannot thank The Shirt Box and Kenny’s Lakes Area Auto Experts enough for hosting this bike drive again,” said Meg Marotte, operations and communications manager, Back Alley Bikes. “Everyday we get to see how youth are not only transformed by having their own bicycle but also through learning the skills needed to maintain them. I know many students in Detroit are appreciative of the efforts of these businesses.”
The Shirt Box is located at 32500 Northwestern Hwy. and is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday until 7 p.m. Lakes Area Auto Experts is at 490 North Pontiac Trail and will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., as well as Wednesday until 7 p.m.
Added Kenny Walters, owner of Kenny’s Lakes Area Auto Experts, “Having a bike can make the difference between going to school or not. I hope metro Detroiters take this opportunity to look through their garages and basements and finally clear out those bicycles that have been gathering dust for years!”
After Sept. 23, Walters will gather the bikes from both locations and deliver them to BAB. While many bikes will be used during the school year, others will be repaired and donated in the months that follow.
For more information on the event, please call The Shirt Box at 248-851-6770 or Lakes Area Auto Experts at 248-668-1200.