Monday, December 03, 2007

Tool Drive for Rwandan Coffee Farmers

Recently, I stumbled upon a non-profit organization located here in Portland called Bikes To Rwanda (BTR). BTR strives to make bikes available to coffee farmers in Rwanda so that they can transport their raw coffee beans to the market. These are folks who make less in a year than most of us make in a day: a coffee farmer who has 5 kids and a wife barely supports his family on around $160 a year.

So, recently these coffee farmers were given some pretty sick coffee bikes (see above). They are the ultimate hauling rigs. What they desperately need though, is tools.

We all know bikes break, now imagine there is no local bike shop, no Performance Bike, no internet to order new tools from.

After talking with the Executive Director of BTR, Plus One Lap is starting a tool donation drive. Find all of the tools you dont really need (how many 5mm allen wrenches do you really need anyway?) and mail them to:

Plus One Lap Tool Drive
4820 SW Barbur Blvd #15
Portland OR 97239

All of your tools will be given directly to the BTR by myself. I found 3 allen sets sitting in my cupboard in addition to the 2 sets which are my "everyday" ones. I am also donating 2 chain breakers, some pliers and some loose allen tools.

If you don't have tools sitting around to donate, run down to your local Harbor Freight and pick some up and mail them in.

These farmers really need things like:
metric allen tools
tire levers
adjustable wrenches
hand pumps
and any other basic tool you think someone would need to work on their bike.

I'm asking all the +1lap readers to dig to the bottom of your tool box and pull out some tools that these people will cherish. I know we can pull together and amass a pretty large donation to give to the BTR. They will handle it from there to get these tools to the coffee farmers in Rwanda.

Again, please mail your tools to:

Plus One Lap Tool Drive
4820 SW Barbur Blvd #15
Portland OR 97239

Related links:
Ubikerwanda Blog
Project Rwanda
Bikes to Rwanda
Scallywags Bike Shop


Chris said...

This is great! I may be moving soon and hence doing a thorough de-tooling. What about parts? Not big parts, but things like chain rings, stems, etc?

Jeremy Burlingame said...

My contact at the BTR said that the bikes they have are so specialized that tools are the only real thing they need right now. Used parts were my first thought too on things I could send them.


Anonymous said...

this is a really cool idea, I'll be sure to send you some tools right away.

gwadzilla said...

very cool!

they may need tools
they may also need lessons in how to use them

I am not much of a mechanic
but I would love to go on at trip to Rwanda