Tom Ford- Goodwill Panama

Remembering Tom Ford

Tom FordThe Bikes for the World community is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Tom Ford, chairman of the board of our long-time partner, the Panamanian Association of Goodwill Industries (Goodwill Panama).

On behalf of the Bikes for the World community, I have communicated my deepest condolences to Tom's widow Julee, as well as to Goodwill Panama executive director Sheila Sanchez and board chair Ariel San Martin.

Tom, an engineer by training, was a long-time resident of Panama. In the 1970's, he joined with local businesspeople to found Goodwill Panama to provide educational alternatives and employable skills for troubled and disadvantaged youth. He served for many years on the board of directors of the U.S.-based Goodwill International. He was a long-time Rotarian, the founder of a scholarship fund to further the education and employment of the blind, and in his professional and personal life, an exemplar of integrity and commitment to helping others.

Tom Ford with beneficiariesGoodwill Panama incorporated bicycles into its program beginning in 2000, and in 2005 approached the newly-formed Bikes for the World to continue and expand the program. Since that time, Bikes for the World has donated 22,261 bicycles, and some 100 portable sewing machines, making Goodwill Panama our second-largest recipient.

Through this long collaboration, Tom became a personal friend, and I and many others will greatly miss him.

-Keith Oberg

Director Bikes for the World

We've MOVED!

ware174Bikes for the World has a new home! After years of jumping from place to place just barely escaping the wrecking ball that seemed to haunt our every move...BfW now has a semi-permanent address to call our own.

It's been a somewhat 'gypsy' existence taking advantage of donated or concessional space over the past decade or more, but the time has come to set down a few roots. Either that or there were no more abandoned buildings (or prisons) to take over.

So now, we are back in Montgomery County after a few years hiatus, this time with a five year paid lease. Read: We're sticking around for a while!

Read more:

April '17 Newsletter

2017 aprilWe are excited to see our latest container arriving in Sierra Leone, but the big news this month is about our recent move! That's right, Bikes for the World is back in Montgomery County. Check out where we are now.

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March '17 Newsletter

2017 marchBig news out of South Carolina this month. BfW Charleston Chapter loads their first container now on the way to Costa Rica. And a huge spring line up has them thinking about a second loading already...

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Creating Autonomy

Ghana containerCreating jobs can be just as important as providing affordable transportation to jobs. At Bikes for the World we are focused on not just delivering used bikes to developing countries, but helping build stronger communities through access to healthcare, education, and jobs. Sometimes those jobs are created through the donations we deliver.

Our bikes generate several jobs depending on our receiving partner. From mechanics, to sales, to the organizational positions themselves, our flood of 500 bikes creates a flurry of work on the other end of our donations. But that work, again, depending on the the partner, may be 'seasonal' in nature. Once those bikes are repaired and sold or donated our partners' workshops may sit dark until the next shipment.

On the other hand, some programs use bike sale funds to support year long activities that benefit the community such as health initiatives, after school programs for at-risk youth, and micro-credit opportunities.

Read more:

February '17 Newsletter

2017 FebruaryWe take a look at how our program is helping refugees better adapt to living and working in the United States. We also revisit a program overseas trying to keep students in the community by offering them job skills. Check out how your old bikes are helping to change the world for the better.

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January '17 Newsletter

January 2017 newsWe took at look back at 2016 and found many amazing accomplishments from our community led collections to our partners overseas to our loyal shop partners who collected thousands of bikes for us over the past year. We are truly stronger together and could not have affected the lives we did last year without YOU. Check out our newsletter and year in review here.

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2016 Snapshot

2016 Snapshot

Looking back at 2016 Bikes for the World broke many records and we didn't have to look far. It was YOU that made 2016 a year to remember. Our community led collection events brought in more bikes than ever before. Not only that, but those community events also brought in more bikes than all our other sources.


Take a look at our 2016 Snapshot to see all of our accomplishments here and abroad.

Namibia Update

Walvis Bay

BENN has helped establish more than 30 bike shops in Namibia. These shops are independently operated by local people, who are connected with grassroots partner organizations and have been trained in bicycle mechanics and business skills.

The shops sell second hand bicycles sourced from groups like Bikes for the World. The sustainable bike businesses benefit local community projects in fields like HIV/AIDS outreach, orphan care, disability support and vocational training for former prostitutes.

Read more:

December '16 Newsletter

december 16Our bikes have arrived in Costa Rica and we have more on the way to the Philippines and Ghana. Just as our container arrived in Costa Rica, Hurricane Otto slammed into Upala. Find out how this impacted our shipment and how we plan to help.

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