Green-vested vendors sell The Curbside Chronicle magazine on street corners across OKC, but some are traveling farther than others to get to their posts. Now, a new nonprofit called The Wheels Project is making the trip a little faster.
After the huge success of Insight Creative Group's coat and water bottle drives for the homeless earlier this year, employee Lisha Dunlap felt she could do even more to give back.
“When I wasn’t doing that, I felt extremely unfulfilled,” she says, “so my husband encouraged me to pick one thing and really just take it for ourselves and make it something we could do all the time.”
Dunlap decided to launch The Wheels Project, an indefinite fundraiser for new bicycles.
Vendor Chad Shuford hopes he can get on the list. His bike broke recently while embarking on his four-mile trip home.
“It’s just like a car,” he says. “You’ve got to put maintenance into it. You’ve got to treat it with love and kindness. You’ve got to kind of baby it a little bit. I didn’t realize that.”
With each donation, The Wheels Project will also provide a backpack, tools to make repairs and other items like lights and a lock to help get the recipients where they need to go.
“They just need a little help,” says Curbside Chronicle director Ranya Forgotson, “and if a bicycle is going to take them to that next level of success in their life, then we would love to help them get a bicycle, and thankfully The Wheels Project is doing that.”
Curbside vendors will not be the only beneficiaries, though. The Wheels Project is also working with The Homeless Alliance and City Rescue Mission to identify clients.
Dunlap says, “We aren’t just throwing it around willy nilly, and we’re able to know who needs it the most now and how we can make an impact in someone’s current situation.”
To connect and contribute to The Wheels Project, click here.