Wheels4Life – Providing Low Cost Quality Bikes for Third World Countries

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes. Wheels 4 Life has a qualified tax-exempt status (501 c3). See our 501c paperwork (.pdf file) for more details.

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Do you have a Board of Directors?

Yes. Our first meeting was in March 2006. The Board approves  all spending, policies, and procedures and takes responsibility for the organization.

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How will you distribute the bicycles?

We work with organizations, non profits, schools and healthcare centers that help us to identify the people that have the most need of a bicycle. Each approved application will have a project leader attached to it.They negotiate the purchase of the bicycles from the local wholesaler, they administer the project, compiling reports with photos, receipts and thank you letters. We buy the bicycles locally for three reasons; firstly to save on transportation costs and import duty, secondly, to make it easier for people to buy spare parts and thirdly, to fuel the local economy, The distribution is carried out either at a community distribution ceremony, ot for those that live too far away, the project leader deliver the bicycle to their home.

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How will you decide who gets the bicycles?

Our philosophy is to provide bicycles to the poorest of the poor, at no cost.  We make no exclusions on race, age, sex, religion, or nationality. They are people that live in remote areas and have either no access to nor the means of affording public transportation. We chose people that will have their lives impacted in a very positive way that will have, a life changing advantage if they have access to a bicycle.

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Does Wheels 4 Life distribute bicycles to the poor in the USA?

We have not at this point. Even though there are many people in the USA in need of a bicycles, the need is much more pressing in Third World countrie, whichis where we concentrate our efforts at the moment.

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What if someone wants to volunteer?

Please click here to view volunteer opportunities.

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What if someone wants to donate a used bicycle?

We are not set up to renovate, store,  ship, or distribute used bicycles. It’s very complicated and expensive to do this, furthermore, it would be very difficult for recipients to find replacement parts when needed in Third World countries. We can buy a new bicycle for $150 in the country where it is needed.-. We recommend that if someone has a used bike that they would like to donate, to please sell it and donate the proceeds via PayPal or a check. You would be issued with a tax receipt.

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How much of the money donated will go towards the cause?

Approximately 90% of donations go towards buying bicycles. Everyone that works with Wheels 4 Life, does so on a voluntary basis.We do have some costs, end of year accounting, insurance, mailing and bank charges for example. We rely on Project Leaders in the field to help us identify those in the greatest need of transportation and to administer the project. We have a great deal of assistance from graphic artist, Jason Ablang who donates his time when our flyers, DVD covers, banners etc need designing. Scott Gilbertson provides Wheels 4 Life with tech support and web-site design and administration. Roasrito Signs print our banners. Hans and Carmen Rey do not receive a salary and utilize their existing company office for the benefit of Wheels 4 Life. Photos are courtesy of Carmen Rey, as was production, direction and co-editing of the Riding out of Poverty. Hans promotes Wheels 4 Life constantly through various media outlets, he enlists help from his sponsors and visits projects that are located near one of his adventure destinations. Wheels 4 Life has never paid for advertising.  

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Do you offer opportunities for volunteers to participate in the distribution of the bicycles in developing countries?

Our distribution partners are carefully reviewed and selected  based on their honesty, integrety, ability to negotiate a good price for the bicycles they purchase on our behalf, transport the bicycles, store and assemble the bicycles, and distribute  them to the selected recipients. As a small yet growing organization, we rarely have the chance to meet our partners before we purchase the bikes, on rare occassions, people that have raised money for Wheels 4 Life have actually gone to the project to take part in the administration of the project. They have been on site at their own expense to personaly hand over the bicycles. This has been the case with Christoph Siemes from the Zeit newspaper in Germany for example. 

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