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Covid-19 Update.

The state of Missouri’s COVID-19 numbers continue to rise. In the absence of reliable leadership, our belief is each individual and organization must hold themselves responsible for keeping our communities safe.

It’s also important to be transparent about our policies regarding the pandemic, and try to set a positive example for others. Below is what to expect from St. Louis BWorks and what you can count on us doing for the duration of this pandemic.  

Based on CDC recommendations, we continue to space our staff and few volunteers out around our well-ventilated building for those who need to be on site. We also continue to work remotely to reduce everyone’s risk of exposure to COVID-19. We have provided staff, volunteers, and customers with an ample supply of face masks and hand sanitizer while encouraging all our staff to avoid unnecessary travel, crowded indoor venues, and otherwise do everything they can to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19. We continue to require all staff and customers to wear a mask while in or outside our building and to maintain 6-feet of distance from one another as much as possible. 

BWorks will continue to operate in a safe manner. This means we will continue operating with a limited capacity. 

  • Classes: Both the Earn-A-Computer and Earn-A-Bike classes will continue online in smaller group sizes. We have slowly been increasing our number of offerings per week to try and accommodate for smaller class sizes and we will offer the Earn-A-Bike class later into the winter season than normal. 
  • Retail: We will continue to only operate with curbside pickups and shopping by appointments or through our website. This method allows us to quickly and easily contact customers if we have a problem or concern. We are happy to bring just about anything outside to view or test. 
  • Volunteers: We will continue to only allow a limited number of volunteers inside our building for short time periods. This is primarily for pickup and drop off of remote volunteer projects.    

We are saddened to have to continue operating this way, however, we believe it’s the best course of action of moving toward a faster, safer outcome for all. We miss seeing our students smiling faces in person, catching up with our volunteers, seeing what our customers are building, or just chatting with someone about the weather who’s not in our immediate bubble. We all miss social interactions, even myself. Please take care and we look forward to the day we can interact more robustly in person again.

Patrick Van Der Tuin 

Executive Director   

Cranksgiving Food Drive

Did you know St. Louis is home to the largest Cranksgiving event in the country? Each year, anywhere from 700 – 1000 bicyclists participate bringing in needed food to help people in the region. And it’s also one more thing that’s being upended in 2020.While we won’t be hosting this event that hundreds have come to look forward to in the same way, we still plan on collecting donations for canned food items with your help.We’re working with bringing in businesses around the area that will be collecting specific food donations (see below for suggestions). As a bonus, some of the locations will offer special deals or raffles or giveaways to those dropping off food items. We will be posting more about each location and what they’re doing during the dates of the food drive.So far, we have the following businesses signed up to be drop off locations for the food drive between November 14 – 22

Read More Here

Bworks warehouse collapses.

Donation page: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=PVA6UW7WUHJKG&source=url 

You know that phrase “bad things happen in threes”? Hopefully, this is the third and final for a very long time. This morning (8/23) a portion of the Lemp Brewery building where we store the majority of the bicycles donated to us through bike drives and more collapsed right on top of the hundreds of stored bicycles. We are extremely lucky that no volunteers or staff had been at the building during the collapse.

Given other recent challenges, and the passing of longtime volunteer and board member Roger Schallom last weekend, the storage collapse is another huge blow.

We had about 700 bikes in the building — around the most we store at any given time. Roughly 350 of them were kids’ bikes, many of which would have become the cherished prizes for graduates of our flagship Earn-A-Bike program. Another 200 adult bikes were destined for other local and international nonprofits to be used for transportation, and still another 100 adult bikes were to be refurbished and sold to help fund our nonprofit and keep our youth programs free to families in our community. 

We typically bring dozens of bikes at a time to our nearby classroom facility and bike shop so staff/volunteers can refurbish them for a variety of purposes. During the pandemic, we’ve been storing even more bikes than usual at the Lemp facility, as well as working out of there for better social distancing. We are so grateful that no one was in the space when it collapsed. 

We are also grateful for the outpouring of concern and offers of bike donations we’ve seen from the amazing St. Louis community within hours of the news. We do have the ability to store some bicycles in our main building in Soulard. If you have a bicycle to donate, you can drop it off there — currently our hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Please ring the bell when you arrive. (For any questions or to drop off bikes after hours, email info@bworks.org for more information.) 

Our priority right now is finding a new warehouse space — preferably close to our Soulard location, with an outside dock, and within our small nonprofit budget (all things this one was).

In the meantime, monetary donations are a huge help as we find our way forward and also continue to have a great need for computer supplies for our ongoing Earn-A-Computer youth program (especially in this age of distance learning and digital divides). 

Eager to help? We’ve linked to an online option for donating in a link above. You can also send a check to St. Louis BWorks (2414 Menard St., St. Louis, MO 63104). 

Thank you. 

St. Louis BWorks has been staying busy for the past 9 weeks.

Much like many of you have been learning new practices or honing skills, so has St. Louis BWorks. For the past several weeks, we have been adapting and learning what it will take for BWorks to continue our legacy of helping youth in our region for another 30 years. Our volunteers and staff have been working hard, albeit mostly behind the scenes these days, to readjust while continuing to support St. Louis area youth. The adjustments include learning to work and volunteer remotely, creating and implementing online courses, and determining new ways to offer our bicycle-related retail products.

What we’re doing

Programs 

We continue to offer our Earn-A-Computer program online so students can learn remotely. 

Our bike program is working to release a handful of projects that we hope our students will enjoy. Our first, what we think is fun and educational, project can be found here and involves youth helping redesign closed streets and being eligible for prizes. 

We continue to donate bicycles to various other nonprofits to be distributed in the community.

After discussions with other schools and the local health experts, our earliest possible reopening of in-person programs will be mid-July.  

Contact for programs: Linda.Tuch@Bworks.org 

Contact for donations: Patrick.Van.Der.Tuin@Bworks.org

Volunteering

Physical volunteering in our building will continue to be suspended. We are, however, starting to work with a few volunteers to arrange taking material or tools to volunteer from home. Our big needs on the bicycle side right now are adjusting wheels and bike builds. Please let me know if you’re able help with this in some way. Patrick.Van.Der.Tuin@Bworks.org 

Retail

We continue to offer limited retail operations through our website and are attempting to expand this to include bicycle parts. You can reach Steve or Patrick to discuss bicycle sales or Jake (see email addresses below) to discuss what parts you need (or think you need). We will do our best to provide the highest level of support possible. 

We understand bicycle purchases during this time can be hard as we are not allowing test rides, but as always, we have staff willing to help from providing extra pictures to specific measurements. Please do contact one of us. At this time, we are offering store credit if, for some reason, the bicycle does not fit you well, or just won’t work for other reasons.     

For bicycle sales: info@Bworks.org 

For bicycle parts: Jake.Daggett@Bworks.org    

Donations 

Bicycle donations are still needed! We have placed a bicycle rack in front of our building with a series of cable locks on it. You can simply drop off your bicycle donation(s) at any time and use the included locks to secure your donation. We are also continuing to accept donations at these locations as well. 

IF you have multiple computers to donate, we are happy to arrange a bulk curbside pickup; you can email us to discuss this more at info@Bworks.org

What we are NOT doing is opening for walk-in traffic on May 18.

We are taking the CDC guidelines seriously as we care about your health and ours. We will only open our doors to the public when we are confident that we can safely follow best practices outlined by health professionals and not overcrowd or compromise your or our experience in the building. 

We cannot wait until we can see and work with you in person again, but we want to remain safe for all involved with our organization. Until then, thank you for your past and current support of St. Louis BWorks. Please stay safe and we will see you when it’s the right thing for all of us. 

Patrick Van Der Tuin 

Executive Director

Patrick.Van.Der.Tuin@Bworks.org 

www.Bworks.org