Date: August 22, 2005
UMASS DARTMOUTH ALUMNI HOMECOMING TO INCLUDE BIKE COLLECTION FOR NEEDY FAMILIES AROUND THE GLOBE
"Pedals for Progress" is 1976 graduate's worldwide mission
Homecoming at UMass Dartmouth is going to be a little different for 1976 graduate David Schweidenback this year. While he may be returning to his hometown of Dartmouth and his alma mater this fall, he will be thinking about people and places from home.
Schweidenback is the founder and CEO of Pedals For Progress, a highly respected non-profit organization that gathers used bicycles and ships them around the globe to needy children and adults. P4P, which began in 1991, is partnering with the UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association to hold a bicycle collection on the university's homecoming weekend.
"Pedals for Progress is one of many ways that the 40,000 alumni of UMass Dartmouth are having a positive impact around the globe," said Alumni Relations Executive Director Donald Berube. "David Schweidenback is proof that one individual with a big heart and an innovative mind can make a huge difference. We are proud to support his mission."
In a recent interview, Schweidenback said used bicycles that are taken for granted in the United States can transform the economic and social condition of families in third world nations by giving people access to jobs, health care and education that is too distant for walking. "We have put over three percent of (Barbados) on bicycles," he said. "That changes a country. We are creating tremendous social change."
P4P collects over 11,000 bikes each year and delivers them to needy children and adults around the globe. To date, more than 91,000 bikes have been distributed in Latin America, Africa and the Pacific Islands by P4P.
Anyone with an adult or child's bicycle in repairable condition is urged to donate their bike by dropping them off on Saturday, October 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UMass Dartmouth campus. Pedals for Progress does not accept bikes for parts or disassembled bikes.
The cost to P4P to collect, process, ship, rebuild and distribute each bicycle is $28. A donation to offset the shipping cost is requested. All cash and material donations are tax deductible and a receipt will be available at the collection site.
PFP also accepts donations of sewing machines and tools. For more information on PFP, visit www.p4p.org.
For information on the UMass Dartmouth Homecoming, please contact the UMass Dartmouth Alumni Office at 508.999.8802.