Updated December 11, 2022
Year’s end is the perfect occasion to reflect on what made a difference in your life and in your community in the past year. Giving back to causes important to you is the perfect way to express your gratitude!
Here are some ways to give back this holiday season:
1. Support Your Local Bike Organizations
On the top of the list of ways to give back this holiday season is donating to your local bike advocacy organization. These organizations are the ones that are “on the ground” in your community and your contribution will probably result in changes that you can quickly see firsthand.
Bike advocacy organizations typically work with local governments to improve bike infrastructure and to make streets safer for alternative transportation like biking, micromobility, and pedestrians. Depending on where you live, these organizations may also incorporate educational programs to teach both kids and adults how to bike safely, advocate for changes to laws to permit e-scooters and e-bikes on city streets, or may even help maintain local recreational biking paths.
Bike East Bay celebrates new protected bike lane with ribbon cutting ceremony (article link)
Not sure what bike advocacy organizations exist in your area or region? Googling “[Your city] bike advocacy” should point you in the right direction. Alternatively, the League of American Bicyclists, the leading national bike advocacy organization, has a tool to search for local resources. Go to the League’s State and Local Advocacy resource page, and on the left side, type your zip code into the “Connect Locally” search bar.
For a shortlist of organizations that Po Campo has partnered with and stands by, check out: Transportation Alternatives in NYC, Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago, Washington Area Bicyclist Association in DC, The Street Trust in Portland, LA County Bicycle Coalition, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and the Cascade Bicycle Club in Seattle.
2. Shop from a Company that Gives Back
As you put together your holiday shopping list, consider the charitable causes your loved ones care about and try to buy gifts from companies that support those same causes.
Fight Climate Change
If nothing else, keep an eye out for companies that are members of the 1% for the Planet initiative, which means they contribute 1% of sales to highly vetted environmental nonprofit organizations. Search their directory here.
3. Volunteer With a Bike Club
We know what you’re thinking, how does volunteering with a bike club count as “giving back”? Aren’t bike clubs just for fun? In their purest sense, yes – but volunteering with a local bike group can be quite enriching. Not only will you likely build new friendships but you will find people to work together with in making biking better where you live one ride at a time.
WE Bike NYC group photo
There are different bike clubs for different levels of riding. Some clubs, like WE Bike NYC show above, focus on social rides tailored to newer cyclists to help them get their footing on riding on city streets. But even clubs with more experienced cyclists often have rides and training programs. That joy you feel riding your bike? One way to give back is to pay it forward, and introduce more people to your favorite pastime.Build an inclusive community
Another way bike clubs give back is by creating safe spaces for people to ride together who are often underrepresented in more traditional biking groups. WE Bike, which is shorthand for Women’s Empowerment through Biking, invites all women, femme-identifying, and gender non-conforming to its rides. Similarly, Black Girls Do Bike clubs and Radical Adventure Riders create welcoming communities. Volunteering with these clubs helps them to continue to grow their reach, creating a more inclusive bike culture at the same time.
Feeling ready to start volunteering with a local club? Research clubs in your area and then contact them straight away to find out what they've got scheduled in the coming months and ask how you can get involved.
Now that we’ve given you some ways to give back this holiday season, what are you going to do? Let us know in the comments!