Posted on July 18, 2013

Nonprofits encourage community involvement and support through many different approaches such as food pantries, resource centers, and programs for children; but have you ever considered bringing a community closer together through bicycles? Three organizations, that all happen to be clients of Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta – SOPO Bicycle Co-op, Beltline Bike Shop, and Bike Athens strive to do just that. While these organizations use different approaches they all seek to bring communities closer, educate those in the community, and help one another through bicycles.

SOPO Bicycle Co-op is a shop that pools the members’ resources together to create access to cycling by providing maintenance and service through education. The shop provides tools and parts in exchange for donations, although nobody is ever turned down for inability to donate. Local volunteers help teach each other how to fix their own bikes so they are able to do so on their own in the future. The goal of The Beltline Bike Shop is to foster positive relationships between the children and adults in the community by providing a chance for children to earn a bike through service in the community. The shop exists to teach kids the value of hard work, goal setting, and respect. Bike Athens seeks to provide a transportation network for all Athenians. They want to make walking, cycling, and public transit more attainable through education, advocacy, and community service.

These three organizations have had great success in bettering their communities through bicycles. SOPO Bicycle Co-op has taught many people how to repair their own bikes and Bike Athens refurbished over 140 bikes in just 2011. These organizations have a unique niche and are making their communities stronger every day. “Give a kid a bike, and he will simply ride it wherever he goes, but let him earn the bike, and you can make him a part of the community.” – Beltline Bike Shop.

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta has matched these organizations with many volunteer attorneys. Thank you to Virginia Carron and Chris Kent from Finnegan; Robert Capobianco of Jackson Lewis; Kevin Erwin and Sean Honeywill of Paul Hastings; and Kevin Glidewell of Turner Broadcasting, who have volunteered to assist these organizations with their legal needs.