UA Students Recycling Bikes for Refugees

La Monica Everett-Haynes
March 26, 2013

For refugees relocating to the U.S., gaining reliable transportation – in addition to finding long-term housing and employment, gaining access to appropriate medical care and acclimating to a new country – can be one of the greatest challenges.

Students with Arizona Resource Connection, a nonprofit UA student-run club in the UA Eller College of Management, and the UA-student led club Enactus, formerly Students in Free Enterprise, have come together to collect dozens of bicycles that will be donated to refugees.

"We have been working hard collecting donations and repairing bicycles with a goal of donating them to local refugees in Tucson," Remmington James Glorioso, a UA Eller College student studying management information systems, said of the semester-long project.

The UA students are hosting the March 30 ARC Bike Drive to donate the bicycles and provide recipients with a safety demonstration.

To be held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Reid Park's Ramada 10, the event is open to members of the UA and general public and also will include help for bicycle repairs and bicycle safety courses, among other things. It is through a partnership with the Arizona Department of Transportation and Perimeter Bicycling Association that refugees receiving bicycles, along with others, will receive bicycle safety demonstrations.

Glorioso noted that Tucson-area refugees, who most often are from Africa and Asia, work with several resettlement agencies in the Tucson region, which often offer living expenses for about a three-month period.

The team of students has been working since January to collect about 30 bikes, which have since been repaired in preparation to be donated. The students are working to collect dozens more.

"It is extremely important to provide bicycles to these refugees because the public transportation systems do not cater to their needs," Glorioso said, adding that many work late nights when most transit systems are not running. "Bicycles with lights will provide a reliable form of self transportation," he said. "These families will be able to support themselves and make their transition to a new life much easier."

Can you donate a bike or funding, or want to attend the event? Call 520-661-3588 for more information.

Charitable donations are tax-deductible, and monetary donations will support the non-profit Arizona Resource Connection, which supports political refugees who have resettled in the Tucson region. The student-run organization connects directly with refugees and also collaborates directly with refugee agencies as well as other student organizations and community-based groups to provide those who resettle with information, school supplies, educational opportunities and other resources.

Contact Remmington James Glorioso at rglorioso@email.arizona.edu or 520-271-6831.

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