Peace Corps looking for bikes, sewing machines to send overseas

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 10:52 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Peace Corps volunteers are looking for Vermonters’ used bikes and sewing machines to send overseas.

Since 1999 the group has collected 4,,500 bikes and nearly 1,000 sewing machines to ship to community organizations in places like Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America.

The bikes can offer school children or workers an affordable, repairable mode of transportation. The sewing machines allow the teaching of job skills that can turn into a business. It’s through a nationwide organization called Pedals for Progress.

“They become technology people can use to supplement their living or earn and living and so these tools are really life-changing in overseas communities, whereas in Vermont they might just be collecting dust,” said Joanne Heidkamp, a volunteer from South Burlington.

The bikes or sewing machines must be in good condition or need minor tune-ups. Collection sites are listed below:

· Montpelier: Friday, September 23, 3 pm to 7 pm, National Life Group parking lot

· Burlington: Saturday, September 24, 9:00 am to 1 pm, Burton offices, Queen City Park Rd