Access to transportation is the single biggest factor helping people avoid homelessness, hold a job, and keep service appointments. To date, your support has provided over $3.1M in community aid in the form of free bikes, service, and parts. Your support is helping so many in need…46,000 and counting. Please help us continue to spread good karma.
Together, we pay it forward.
Please take a moment to get to know some of our clients whose lives you have impacted.
San Jose’s Community Health Fair
Neighborhood Hands offers people experiencing homelessness a no-barrier-to-entry opportunity to clean San Jose’s underfunded and unkempt city parks. They provide modest stipends, misc. essentials (food, water, hygiene packs, etc.), connection with homeless resources, and a positive community directly after cleanings. Recently, we have joined their effort to support those in need with free bike repairs on site every Saturday morning. This week, we granted two bikes at the event. Joe (one the left) brought us a bike that was too far gone to save. .In exchange, we have him a Specialized Rockhopper which he said was a much better fit for him. Richard (on the right) brought us a Cannondale last week with a broken derailleur hanger. We finally caught up with him Saturday and gave him a refurbished Specialized Hardrock.
Please enjoy this special story and heartfelt thank you from Dan. He recently came in to pick up a granted tricycle for his wife who suffered life long effects of a terrible car accident as a young child.
Expected never to walk or talk again, she has defied the odds and is ready to get on a bike for the first time – helping her become even stronger and enjoy life to the fullest. We are happy to have been able to help them out – all because of your support.
Chris is staying at a homeless shelter until he can find affordable housing. He just recently found a job at at Amazon in San Francisco. He said it takes two buses and a train to get to and from work without a bike- he has to leave at 6am for a 10am start. He is looking forward to loosing the bus trips, saving some more money and sleeping in a little now that he has a bike.
Fabian and his family became homeless and were able to secure temporary housing through LifeMoves. Gook Karma Bikes was happy to grant this Trek bike to Josiah to help him with transportation. He plans to use his bike to seek employment and visit his family.
We are grateful to Santa Clara County Supervisor, Susan Ellenberg for funding our family unity program. This family came to us last week in need of transportation (mom) and her sweet daughters picked out their own bikes as well. They look forward to some great weekends in the park.
Our dear friend Steve had his bike stolen last night at the Taco Bell on Bascom Ave. We granted him this silver Kent with a U-lock that had been donated. All of our locks that are donated with their keys or combination go to people like Steve receiving granted bikes.
Frank was referred to us by the Santa Clara valley homeless healthcare program. He is currently living in temporary housing and trying to get back on his feet after being homeless for 5 years. He recently found a job and will use his bike to commute.
Earl built a road bike at GKB years ago that he used to get around. Today he came in with a broken cruiser with no crankset. We granted him this new cruiser. He wrote a thank you note to our donors and told us his hands hurt so much from being homeless and outside.
Cy has been homeless for much of his life and has had a relationship with us for many years. This year he turned 65 and was able to get permanent housing and retire from homelessness. He still relies on a bike to get around, and comes to us when he needs a new bike. We are so happy for him.
Paul is a friend who comes to see us often. He is in reentry and homeless. He currently lives underneath Highway 87 in a homeless encampment. He needs a bike to access support services that will help him find a job and a place to live. He was happy to talk about the impact GKB has had on his life. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/Xqb5UOMBkns
Wayne has experienced long term homelessness, and came to us through HomeFirst Services. We have been able to grant him this blue Lotus bike and various parts that needed to be replaced from time to time. His bike had been stolen recently from the homeless shelter. We were able to supply him with another bike and lock.
Linda was referred to us by Santa Clara County and has a history of hardships including homelessness and is currently receiving support for mental health. We were happy to grant her a 24” Diamondback bike which she will use to get to work and her medical appointments.
Chris came in Friday with a flat tire and a ruined rear wheel after riding on the rim. Today we granted him a new bike and with nice new wheels!
Darius was sponsored by his middle school. Both parents work full time and he needs it to get to and from school. He also said he looks forward to riding with his buddies on the weekend.
HOLIDAY BIKES FOR PACIFIC CLINICS
Pacific Clinics is California’s largest community-based nonprofit provider of behavioral and mental health services and supports. They came to us for help in December as they were looking to donate 57 bikes to children in need. We were happy to help! A wonderful team effort – it took many volunteers to refurbish them and they had a wonderful team to pick them up and have them ready in time for the holiday event! We are always happy to support them.
JEANNE AND BRYCE
JURY AND OLGA
Jury and wife Olga, are Russian speaking refugees that were referred to us by a local physician. They will rely on their granted bikes for general transportation.
We were happy to provide Councilmember Magdelana Carrasco’s office (District 5) with 10 bikes to give to families at their annual holiday event. We hope we made some kids very happy 🙂
Eddie came in with a bike that had been given to him, explaining he is homeless. That bike was too big for him, and he showed us the bruises on his face where he had fallen off the bike. We took that bike from him to donate to someone else and gave him a better, smaller Huffy for him to ride. A lock too!
Tom is well known and considered a good friend of GKB. He’s been coming to us for years. Tom has struggled and needs a bike to access medical appointments – especially now. He’s having both ankles completely reconstructed as he has issues walking. He wanted to say thank you to you. Watch the video here.
Preston is a regular client. We granted him another bike this year. He comes in to see us quite often. He is a local homeless man who suffers from multiple hardships from life on the streets. He was recently thrown off his bike and beaten up by the person who stole it. We always help him out and he is always so appreciative.
Henry came to us through the Salvation Army. He is homeless and struggling to get back on his feet. He was so happy to have this bike given to him. When we told him people make financial donations to make this possible – he said, “whoever it is and when you get them. . . tell them I say thanks. I don’t know what else I was going to do.”
Philip came in for an adjustment on his Trek bike. The very next weekend, his bike was stolen and he returned to us for help. He shared the heart-sinking feeling of coming outside to find his bike lock cut and his beautiful Trek mountain bike gone.
Philip describes himself as homeless and on a fixed income. He said it is extremely difficult for him to walk everywhere he needs to go. We were happy to grant him a refurbished bike, a bike helmet, and a bike lock the same day.
Barbara came to us months ago looking for a sturdy bike to get her to and from work. By the time we had the perfect bike ready for her, her phone number has been disconnected. Months later she contacted us again when she had earned enough money for a reliable phone. We were able to find another bike for her that was even better than the one we had on hold for her before. She also received a new lock through our current program sponsoring new locks for people receiving granted bikes. She said she is grateful for the donations and volunteers who made this possible.
Julie was walking her dog past our free Saturday Clinic at Renascent place when she stopped to compliment a pink cruiser we were currently fixing up. She walked up to the service stand and asked how much it was. She told us she recently had to sell her car as the transmission went out and was too costly to repair. She could hardly believe it when we said “if you like it, you can have it.” She replied, “but for how much?” Free! We just asked her to do something nice for someone else that day, which she promised to do. She said we made her entire year!
Research shows endurance exercise greatly improves physical and mental health. Meet Thomas who has been unemployed, unable to afford a card, and has been caring for his elderly moth one the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He came to us in need of a bicycle for transportation and exercise, hoping it will improve his health. He had to wait a bit until we received a bike donation that fit his six-foot frame, but one arrived from a generous doner that we fixed up nicely. Thomas said he loves Good Karma Bikes and thanks the generous donors for his new bike.
THE FAMILY UNITY PROGRAM AT GOOD KARMA BIKES
In April, we launched our new Family Unity Program at Good Karma Bikes. This program supports families with a parent facing challenges. We grant a bike not only to the individual in need, but to the entire family -strengthening the parent/child bond, while providing a healthy outlet for quality time together outdoors. Biking also supports mental health, reducing stress and anxiety which can have life-long effects for children facing family adversity.
A big thank you to San Jose Council-member Magdalena Carrasco for bringing this lovely family to us! They were the first beneficiary of this program which has been generously funded through a grant recommended by Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. We hope this will help many more families in our community enjoy time with each other.
We were contacted by The Kinship, Adoptive, and Foster Parent Association (KAFPA) of Santa Clara County. They were having a holiday giveaway and had far more demand than they had bikes. They needed help, fearful of the worst – having to turn children away. We made a call out to our community for bike donations through KTVU. We were flooded with used bike donations from all over the Bay Area. The story even reached Turlock – a private firm shipped us 50 brand new bikes! We were able to provide over 150 bikes to children in need- a very special holiday to remember.
MEET MR. D
Mr. D. is a Vietnam Veteran who came into Good Karma Bikes and said he was proud to be eleven months clean. Recently, he rear wheel was stolen off his bicycle. We replaced the wheel and the tire, free of charge. We also adjusted his brakes and lubed his gear shifters.
He told us he uses his bike to commute to doctor’s appointments. The added exercise also helps him keep his diabetes in check. As he rode away, he said, “As a veteran, it makes a big difference knowing there are people who care.”
In the aftermath of the George Floyd protests, northwest bike manufacturer Kona Bicycles offered Good Karma a dozen new bikes to be distributed to groups supporting the African-American community. Days later, Ray walked into Good Karma looking for a bike. He had suffered a double pulmonary edema and had been out of work for months. His doctor told him that riding a bike would be great exercise to support his recovery. He was our first recipient of granted Kona Bike.
Not long after Ray came in, Vincent came in to see us. Vincent is a veteran whose bike — which he used to go to his chemo treatments, had just been stolen. Those who knew him around downtown San Jose encouraged him to go to come into Good Karma for a replacement, and while Vincent isn’t African-American, our Kona’s sales rep felt
the donation fit into the spirit of the effort. Vincent was overjoyed, he had no idea
he would be receiving a new bike that day.
The common expression, “It’s so easy, just like riding a bike!” I’ve never gotten it. I feel like people take the simplicity of riding a bike for granted. For someone like myself, it’s not so easy.
I’m Rebekah. I’m an actor, writer, artist, and musician – I also have cerebral palsy. I never learned to ride a bike due to balance issues. I’ve been on a constant growth journey- trying to love myself and where I am at. In this act of self-acceptance, I found Good Karma bikes. I don’t have a car and walking is hard for me. I carry a cane and there is never a guarantee for a seat on the bus. At Good Karma Bikes, I found an adult trike that spoke to my heart. A brown seat and shiny blue paint. I put the bike on layaway and planned to pick it up once it was paid it off. About a week later, I received a call from Jenny at Good Karma Bikes.
She said, “In the spirit of the holiday season, we would like to give you the bike, Rebekah.” I was so blown away, I was moved to tears. Sometimes you don’t know the impact of acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion. I have to say, you hear about them, but you never expect them to happen to you. I’ve always been a person that believes in sowing good seeds. And sow good seeds while knowing, you never know which one will bloom. I believe in karma and the principle of paying it forward. This gift will help with less stress getting to work while helping me help myself in all others areas of my life. I am so thankful that such a wonderful place exists in San Jose, and I am grateful to Good Karma for blessing me with this wonderful gift that means more than I am able to convey. Here’s to Good Karma and remembering to pay it forward.
Carlos was hit by a car and his bike was damaged. He’s had a tough time getting back on his feet. He depends on his bike for his job with Door Dash. The bike he brought us was well beyond the state of repair following the accident. We were happy to grant him a sturdy bike to get back on the road.
Edwin came to us needing a bike to get to his doctor appointments, food donation locations, and other appointments. We were happy to grant him a bike, helmet, and lock the same day.
John was referred to us by his social worker. He loved his new bike that we granted him and told us that it would help him find employment and get to and from work and help him see his family.
Sharon came to us with a letter from the family she takes care of through In Home Support Services. Her car is having issues and she can’t get to work to care for this family who depends on her for so much. We granted Sharon one our recent HOPR acquisitions, retired from a ride-share program.
Shortly after Jared came in, the Bill Wilson center sent us somone else in need of transportation. This is Adrian. He needs a bike so that he doesn’t have to walk back and forth to school or use an Uber. His mother sometimes takes time off from school to drive him, so this will allow her to pick up more shifts at work. We are so happy we were able to help him.