A-Aamerican Container recently donated a few containers to a local nonprofit organization, The Well. They were in need of storage space and we were happy to assist. The Well is a part of the Underground Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Underground as a community prioritizes the poor, the oppressed, and the neglected. We recently received an email from them with the following note:
“I just wanted to touch base and update you on how awesome the shipping containers have worked out for us. One is serving as a much needed storage space while the other has thrived as a bike shop/co-op that we have affectionately called the ReCycle Bin.”
Here is a little ‘About the Project’ written by one of the crew running it:
The Recycle Bin is first and foremost an act of community support, building community and establishing trust while providing liberation through transportation to those living on the periphery of a dog eat dog world. Its a hot, trying and difficult task, but three days out of the week a 20 foot shipping container filled with old bicycle frames donated from all corners of the Tampa area is opened, and a vision of a more equal, more communal world shakes the rust from old frames and parts.”Meaning”,”purpose”,”a skill”, these are the words used to describe the reality of our modest bike shop by the homeless individuals and middle class bike geeks that mingle over flat tires, broken chains and honest laughter. The container, stationed on a property rented by a nonprofit homeless outreach organization (The Well) is one of the many projects blooming into a living mural of the Real, Beautiful, Tampa Bay. After unloading buckets of parts and frames, the guests of The Well, choose a bike or make use of the tools and tires we offer in order to maintain theirs. Just a bike? To someone with no money, no income, and no social standing. it doesn’t just “represent” freedom and liberation, but literally becomes a moving manifestation of self-reliance. They’re used to get to doctors appointments, the V.A, make use of social services, job interviews, leave or avoid threatening situations, or just clear their minds and beat the brutal Florida heat by catching a breeze cruising around town with newly made friends. ALL usable nuts, bolts, cables and bearing are harvested and meticulously organized by all of us from the rusted carcasses of bicycles that are beyond repair, after which, the few unsalvageable frames and rims are scrapped to buy new tubes and lubricants (in theory, actually we rarely can’t up-cycle it for alternate use). Guests have come back, taught what they’ve learned to others, built more bikes, retrieved stolen ones and have shown that they want the shop to continue.
We applaud the many volunteers of the Well and will continue to support their cause. We encourage others in our community to do the same. For more information or to contribute funds or volunteer hours please visit WellTampa.com