Bikes for Students


We recently received an e-mail from a woman named Jenny Leonard who’s undertaking a pretty cool-sounding project to help out students in rural South Africa. Read on for more info…


Portland, Oregon – “Jenny’s got the ability to tell a truly compelling story,” begins Brooke Hunter of Career Services at Reed College, “and the commitment to move past her lack of experience to get the money in the door.”

When Jenny Leonard was studying abroad in South Africa in 2008, she met Mercy, a 16 year old high school girl who walked for three hours one way, every day, to get to school each morning. While this is the stuff of evening cable telethons, it was all new to Jenny Leonard who pledged that she would send hundreds of bicycles to South Africa, no matter how much work it took, to alleviate the transportation burden for impoverished school children.

After returning from Africa and earning her BA from Reed College, Leonard immediately started working towards her goal. She was completely new to fund-raising, but started her own Portland chapter of Bicycles for Humanity, an organization that neatly dovetailed with her goal. Over the past year Jenny raised $9,000 for a 40 foot shipping container large enough to send 400 used bicycles to an organization in South Africa which will distribute the bikes to needy school children in rural areas.

Now that fund-raising for the shipping container is complete, Leonard will dive into stage 2: a city-wide bike collection day on April 24 during the City Repair Earth Day Celebration at the old Washington High School on SE 12 and Stark from 10am-4pm. Jenny hopes to get the 400 bicycles in one day.

Jenny will be collecting used (but in good condition) mountain bikes, cruisers, parts, tools, bike accessories, and monetary donations. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Various prizes and treats await good-hearted donors along with the profound feeling of donating sustainable transport to those who need it most.


Jennifer Leonard, Bicycles for Humanity 925-354-1616,

Jessica Glenn, MindBuck Media PR Services 503-998-8770,

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