Mark Gaudet of Bikes for Farmworkers says the volunteer-driven organization is shutting down for now.
It’s the time of year that would normally be busy, with volunteers repairing bikes for seasonal farmworkers who would be arriving in the coming weeks.
With their ability to come to Canada up in the air, social distancing recommended by the public health department, and the need to keep volunteers safe, the decision was made Monday to put their work on hold, Gaudet says.
The organization, which shares space in the former Virgil school with Gateway Community Church, had just announced a community partnership with the church.
The partnership is intended to confirm both organizations’ commitment to serving the local migrant farmworker community, and ensuring a sustainable outreach program.
During the winter, Gaudet says volunteers picked up and repaired bikes from five of the larger farms, leaving them ready and safe to ride when the farmworkers return.
The plan is for Bikes for Farmworkers to resume operations April 7, when its workshop will re-open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday, April 9, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., “if all goes well,” says Gaudet. “Like the rest of the world, we’ll be re-evaluating.”
People who have bikes to donate can call Gaudet 289-783-1684 or Terry Weiner at 905-321-8638 and they will arrange a pickup at a future date.