Working Bikes is constantly looking for more ways to connect with likeminded, neighboring organizations to further the goal of recycling bicycles and giving them to those in need. Esperanza Health Centers, with locations in South Lawndale, Little Village, and Chicago Lawn, is one such organization. On top of our established Prescription To Ride partnership, in which we provide Esperanza clients bicycles for health and overall wellness, we have established a series of events this summer. Our apprentices in the One Summer Chicago program are repairing bicycles to provide to three of Esperanza’s health groups within the community.
We kicked off the series with participants of Esperanza’s Little Village Breastfeeding Group on June 29th at the outdoor pavilion of the fairly new La Villita Park. After the adults and children of the group excitedly picked out bicycles, Working Bikes general manager, Paul Fitzgerald, discussed bike safety. We ended the day with a group ride around the park’s soccer field.
On the morning of July 8th our apprentices were back at La Villita Park, presenting 10 bikes, locks, and helmets to participants of the “Be Me, Be Healthy” program. The program is geared toward teenage girls and assists with self esteem and relationships. The girls listened to our One Summer apprentices explain how to check their bike for safety as well as how to figure out how to choose the right bike. And once bicycles were picked out, we once again took a leisure group ride.
Photo credit: Rhonda Bausley
We will finish the summer series with Esperanza’s Girls on the Run group on July 27th. The group focuses on self-esteem and health as the girls train for a 5k race. This certainly won’t be the last collaboration with Esperanza Health Center; stay tuned for more.