MAPLE GROVE, MN --(Marketwired - July 19, 2016) - On June 18, 2016 TopLine Federal Credit Union hosted its 3rd annual bike donation drive at its Como Park branch location with donations benefiting Keystone Community Services' Youth Program, Express Bike Shop. TopLine members traveled from near and far to drop off their unused bikes to help support local youth employment. Donations ranged from a single bike to truck loads. As the day wrapped up, TopLine members had donated over 50 bikes.
Why are these bikes donations so important? Keystone's Youth Express Apprenticeship Program, is a youth directed social enterprise, serving as a learning lab for young people entering the workplace, with all revenue reinvested back into the program. This youth development and entrepreneurial training program teaches young people real world job skills and provides employment opportunities as paid apprentices.
Through apprenticeships at Keystone's Urban Business Adventures, youth gain a valuable "first job" experience that emphasizes positive work skills, business knowledge and the entrepreneurial mindset. Each apprentice is required to work 200-plus hours focusing on three elements: curriculum, coaching and assessment, and at the end of the program becomes certified in bicycle repair and small business skills.
Donations ranged from tricycles to road bikes, from recent years to vintage models. In honor of the "Back to the 50's" Car show that was in town over the collection day, a 1959 bike in mint condition was donated.
"TopLine members and employees generously contributed their unwanted bikes to support the local community's non-profit youth-run enterprise," says Tom Smith, TopLine President and CEO. "We are happy to see so many individuals donate their bikes that were collecting dust in their garages, and with 100% of profits being reinvested back into the internship program this gives teens an unique employment opportunity to develop new skills needed to be successful in work and life."
Express Bike Shop, celebrating its 21 years in the community, is a full-service bike shop specializing in refurbished bikes, repair and new and used components. The bike shop, located at 1158 Selby Ave in St. Paul, accepts bike donations of all kinds and uses these donations to train young people on how to fix and refurbish bikes for resale. Plus, youth gain valuable experience operating a small business, like daily shop responsibilities including assisting customers, preparing the bank deposit, and ordering and stocking items in the retail area, as well as completing a Bicycle Repair Certification. Visit www.exbike.com to learn more.
TopLine Federal Credit Union, a Twin Cities-based credit union, is Minnesota's 13th largest, with assets of more than $385 million. Established in 1935, the not-for-profit cooperative offers a complete line of financial services, as well as auto and home insurance, from its five branch locations -- in Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, Plymouth and in St. Paul's Como Park -- as well as by phone, mobile app and online at www.TopLinecu.com. Membership is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or volunteers in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington Counties and their immediate family members.
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