Worship with Hope, Grow with Love, and Serve with a Passion for Justice.

Pedal Power: Bonnie’s Story of Homelessness to Hope

by Pedal Power

Recently, the Beargrass team helped Feed Louisville deliver bicycles to homeless camps hidden in the shrubs between Preston Highway and I 65.  People there were gathered in wet, cold, and dirty boxes and tents, struggling to stay dry and hoping to cobble together whatever they could find to eat.  They looked lonely and exhausted.  We met Bonnie at one of the camps, living in a saturated tent, its floor thick with water and mud that also covered her dress.  With so many needs, we wondered how someone struggling in these conditions could possibly benefit from a bicycle.  How could it make a difference? 

Months later I met Bonnie for a second time at the Arther Street Hotel, a property near U of L converted to transition homeless people to permanent housing.  She is no longer living in the mud and weeds.  Curious, I asked Bonnie’s about the bicycle, that fat-tired white cruiser we gave to her in the bushes along Preston Highway.  After a moment, a smile crossed her face as she told how she and the bike had survived the homeless camp together.  Bonnie called the bicycle her most valuable possession.  It continues to serve as her path to freedom, a way to navigate her community.  

Bicycles come and go so rapidly to and from our garage behind Beargrass.  They are dropped off, repaired, and distributed.  Rarely do we see or hear about the differences they make in the lives of others.  It takes someone like Bonnie to bring that to our attention.   

About Pedal Power Ministry:

This Ministry Team empowers folks in Louisville by providing refurbished/rebuilt bikes. Our volunteer team delivers on average 850 bikes a year to those in need in our community. Since its beginning in 2013, Pedal Power has delivered close to 8,500 bikes to individuals in need of reliable transportation. We have several strong partnerships with nonprofits and for-profit companies in Louisville such as Community Ministries, Homeless Ministries, Prison Resettlement Services, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, and Greater Louisville YMCA. We have a repair team that requires an understanding of bicycle components along with most repair skills and an interest to learn more about bicycle maintenance and a willingness to serve. We also have a social media team that spreads the Pedal Power message in our community with an understanding of social media sources and the ability to communicate and navigate within and through these sources. Please contact Pedal Power to get involved by serving or donating.

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