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BGI SHIFTING GEARS

WHAT IS SHIFTING GEARS?

Shifting GearsShifting Gears started at the Pendleton Correctional Facility in Feb. 2006. In 2011, the program moved to Putnamville Correctional Facility. The purpose of the program is to obtain used bicycles through donations for repair, renovation and distribution to underprivileged children and others in need. The program also serves to provide meaningful work opportunities for offenders and to prepare them for a successful re-entry into the community.

J. David Donahue, former commissioner of the Indiana Department of Correction said that "this program not only helps reclaim bicycles and place them with children who need them, [but] it also gives the offenders an opportunity to develop useful job skills that could improve their chances of becoming productive citizens upon their release from prison."

Shifting Gears is a partnership between Bicycle Garage Indy, Volunteers of America, and the Indiana Department of Correction. Additional partners include PEN Products and CitiMark Management Company.

HOW IT WORKS

Used bicycles can donated to the Shifting Gears program at any Bicycle Garage Indy location. Volunteers of America issues tax-deductions for the donated bikes. Under the direction of Indiana Department of Correction staff, inmates learn to repair bicycles and get a sense of accomplishment. The program provides inmates with a job and helps build self-worth by allowing them the opportunity to be productive citizens who give back to the community.

VISIT THIS PAGE for Stories and Photos from people who have received the bicycles

Bicycle Garage Indy has received 3,992 bicycles, and 3,800 bicycles have been distributed through the Shifting Gears program since August 2006. In 2015, 371 bikes were donated into the program, and 403 bike were distributed to people in need.

REQUESTING BICYCLE DONATIONS

Non-profit organizations may request up to 25 bikes on behalf of their clients. Shifting Gears does not give bikes to individuals. If you are an individual in need of a bike, please contact a non-profit organization that can make a request on your behalf.

Organizations should review our program guidelines and complete our donation request form online.

PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS
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HOW YOU CAN HELP

  • Donate a bike – bring your used bike to BGI North or BGI South during store hours.
  • Tell your friends about the program.
  • Make a cash donation -  Donations to Shifting Gears are accepted online through Volunteers of America of Indiana, a 501(c) 3 organization. Click here to make a online cash donation. You will be taken to the Volunteers of America online donation webpage. Be sure to enter "Shifting Gears" in the comment field to assure the donation is applied to Shifting Gears.
While most of the costs of the Shifting Gears program are provided through in-kind donation of services, there are hard costs associated with the program when it comes to parts needed to refurbish the bikes. Bikes donated are not always in top condition. Your cash donation will help cover the cost of replacement parts, including cables, cable housing, tubes, tires and safety reflectors.

TESTIMONIALS
"As a worker in this program, it gives me a sense of pride in myself being part of fixing bikes for children and the needy. I feel this is one of the best programs the DOC has to offer. As a father myself, I have seen the excitement and joy it brings to a kid to have a bicycle. There is nothing in this world that can explain how it makes a person feel to see the expression on those needy children’s faces with they receive the bicycles. I hope this program is recognized for bringing children’s spirits and hopes up. To me this is very important in our society."

Doug A.

"The bike shop is great. It is fun as well as a great learning experience because it gives me and the guys a chance to learn something new that can help us in the future. It is a program that is very helpful for children in the community. So let the bike shop stay up and moving because it is something special. Remember when you got your first bike you were all smiles. Just think about the smiles on the kids’ faces when they receive a bike from our very own bike shop."

Ryan W.

"This is a great program that benefits our defendants more than anyone can imagine. Giving them a bike is a great incentive for them to not only show up for their court obligations, but to better themselves in many aspects of their lives"

Jason Cochran, Marion County Superior Court

"I think it’s wonderful. I think it will empower people to get employment because they’ll have transportation. It’s great offenders get this sense of accomplishment and it’s something positive to do to pass the time."

Vicki Burge, LaPorte Salvation Army Lead Case Manager

“The response from the clients to the bike program is wonderful. I’ve witnessed some clients letting someone in greater need get a bike ahead of them knowing they have to wait until more bikes are available. I hope the partnership can continue. The program has been helpful to our poor, needy and marginalized people."

Dr. Maggie Price, Cathedral Kitchen and Food Pantry Director


ORGANIZATIONS WHO HAVE RECEIVED BIKES INCLUDE:
1st Freewill Baptist Church
accessABILITY Center for Independent Living,  Inc.
Bethlehem House
Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington
Catholic Charities Refugee Program Indianapolis
Center of Wellness for Urban Women
Centered Around Christ
Challenge Foundation Academy
Circle City Relief
City Light/ 1st Christian Missionary Baptist Church
Community Court of Indianapolis
Damien Center
Exodus Refugee Immigration
Good Samaritan Network Of Hamilton County Indiana
Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana
Hamilton Center
Harshman Magnet Middle School
HealthNet Homeless Initiative Program
Heritage Apostolic Tabernacle
Holy Cross Church St. Vincent de Paul Conference
Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy
Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation
IMPD North District Community Day
IMPD Ranger Community Day
Ivy Tech Community College / Center for Working Families
Job Corps
Johnson County Community Corrections
Jr. Amvets Post #99
Kid's Church/The Beach
Lifeline Community Center
Lighthouse Baptist Church



Lillian Davis Foundation
Linton Community Development Corp.
Marion Superior Court F12 - Community Court
Marion Superior Court Probation Department
Martin University
Midtown Community Mental Health
Monroe County Autism Foundation
Morristown Boys and Girls Club
National Youth Advocate program
New Hope Family Shelter
New Leaf Mentoring
Partners in Housing Development Corporation,  Colonial Park Apartments
Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility
Ruth Lilly YMCA Outdoor Center
Servant's Heart of Indy
St. Lukes United Methodist Church
The 24 Group
The Jena Simone Center
The PourHouse,  Inc.
The Project School - Indianapolis
Trusted Mentors Inc.
VA Hospital - Homeless Team
VA Domiciliary
Victory Christian Center
Volunteers of America of Indiana
Wheeler Mission,  Shelter for Men
Young Men Inc.
YouthBuild Indy

 

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4340 East 82nd Street
Indianapolis, IN 46250
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