May is National Bike Month and is celebrated in communities from coast to coast. National Bike to Work Week is May 11-15, 2015. Barnabas takes this opportunity to share progress and success of their two-wheeled partnership program, Adult Bikes for Barnabas (ABB). Barnabas is a non-profit agency that helps Nassau County residents in crisis with urgent needs.
Adult Bikes for Barnabas was an idea brought to Barnabas by Phil Scanlan, local trails advocate and a coordinator of the Amelia Island Trail Team. The goal is to provide bicycle transportation to adults seeking jobs or to get to their workplace. Mr. Scanlan’s idea has worked well here due to close proximity of living, shopping, and employment. Since April of 2011, 213 bikes have been given to Barnabas clients.
The first step in the Adult Bikes for Barnabas process is to donate a used bike to the Fernandina Beach Cycling and Fitness Center on South 8th Street. Joel Beckam, owner, has been repairing bicycles since age 11, starting at a bike shop in Palatka. He came to Fernandina over 25 years ago, and is still doing the work he loves operating a retail bike shop and repairing bikes. Bikes for the program are refurbished at a discounted rate and Joel donates the labor. Joel simply says, “He tries to help others and enjoys seeing a program like ABB fulfilling a local need”. Joel reports that several people have even donated their bikes back to the program after obtaining employment and a car.
The program continues to help Nassau County residents thanks to the support of our generous citizens. Financial gifts for the bike program are also gratefully accepted at Barnabas Center.