Agency Profile: Charlie's Freewheels

Charlie’s Freewheels is a wonderful non-profit organization that aims to "inspire a spirit of exploration and to mobilize, empower and engage youth using bicycles as a driver for personal growth and positive social change.”

Through their “Build-A-Bike” program, Charlie’s Freewheels teaches bicycle mechanics to youth and gives them an opportunity to build their own bike, by refurbishing a used one.  At the end of the program, participants get a new bike and posses the necessary skills required to safely ride and maintain it. As an added bonus, they also build a sense of community and learn the importance of movement and healthy living.

Drop-in hours are an essential part of programming at Charlie’s Freewheels, as they welcome youth into the shop to work on their bikes at their own pace and explore new concepts outside of more structured programming.

As a new Second Harvest pick-up recipient agency, the folks at Charlie’s Freewheels receive weekly donations of fresh, nutritious food for youth attending their programming. By providing free, vegetarian, homemade meals for their participants, Charlie’s Freewheels is able to accomplish two very important things:

  • Community building:  Providing everyone in the shop with the opportunity to connect, in a familiar and comfortable setting after a day of learning. Everybody enjoys a good meal at the end of the day.
  • Provide youth with the energy required to keep them learning and motivated: For many youth at Charlie’s Freewheels, the food provided in their drop-in program may be the only “home-cooked” meal that they have all week and many have noted that it is indeed the healthiest they eat all week!

In 2017, the small team at Charlie’s Freewheels served a total of 1,740 plates of healthy food to youth attending their programming. We are proud to support such innovative, Toronto organizations working to instill community values and unique skills in the youth they serve.

Click here to learn more about Charlie’s Freewheels.