Why volunteer?

Recyclery volunteers have the satisfaction of rescuing bicycles from the trash and transforming them into sustainable transportation for those in need through our Freecyclery program. We get to work with youth and adults to share mechanic skills and learn together at volunteer hours and open shop. We make a difference in our neighborhood and in the lives of those we serve and support.

What do volunteers do?

Volunteers fix bikes to donate, teach mechanics, and contribute to our mission. There are lots of ways you can help out:

Program Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Freecyclery Mechanics: Volunteers fix donated bikes that we re-donate to refugees, people experiencing homelessness, and low-income families through our Freecyclery Program. We fix these bikes during Volunteer Hours. Working on Freecyclery bikes is a great way to learn and practice bike mechanics.
  • Open Shop Greeters: Greeters introduce people to the space and keep the shop running smoothly. They meet people at the door, explain the rules, get people signed into a bench, and help them learn how to put their bike in a stand. They also make sure patrons clean their bench and help them check out. Greeters do not need much mechanic experience to start helping at Open Shop.
  • In-Person Bike Sale Assistants: Get trained to help people decide what kind of bike they need, assist with bike fittings, and sell accessories at our In-Person Bike Sale sessions. We sell refurbished bicycles to fund our other programs.
  • Host Open Shop: Skilled volunteer mechanics guide others who fix up their bikes at Open Shop sessions hosted by experienced volunteers, who are usually collective members.
  • Bike Collectors: You can help us by organizing a bike drive, picking up bikes in the Chicago area, or reaching out to property owners or bike shops.
  • Youth Instructors: Youth Instructors teach kids bike mechanics and safe riding skills for our youth programs. Lead teaching positions are paid.
  • Tune Up and Overhaul Class Instructors: For experienced bike mechanics, sign up to teach one of our adult classes. Volunteers can assist to help everything go smoothly. Lead instructors are paid and are often shop mechanic (staff).

Other Volunteer Opportunities

  • We need Photographers & Videographers to help us capture and communicate our mission and impact. Photos and videos are used on our website, social media channels, and in other formats. We need…
  • Writers to create newsletter and website content, compile volunteer stories, or stories showing the impact of our work. We especially need experienced Grant Writers apply for funding for future projects. We need…
  • Graphic Designers to help create brochures, flyers, posters, infographics, instructional material, web content, and t-shirts. We even need…
  • Shop Designers and Woodworkers to maximize every square foot in our shops. Volunteers build shelves, organize storage, and make minor repairs to optimize our shop.

Don’t see your skill set or interest on this list? No worries – just tell us what talent you want to share to help advance our mission.

Apply to Volunteer

How to start volunteering:

Come to Volunteer Orientation held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month, 6pm – 7pm.  Please RSVP via [email protected]. You can also use the button above to fill out a Volunteer Application.
Illustrations: Jay Ryan / The Bird Machine

Volunteers should be vaccinated to protect the health and well-being of others.