Boise Bicycle Project and Mission43 have embarked on a partnership called Shifting Gears, to develop incarcerated veterans into highly skilled bicycle mechanics. The prisoners will have the opportunity to learn a trade while making a meaningful contribution to the community. All bicycles they repair are donated through BBP to low-income and refugee children. They learn a trade that, combined with a letter of recommendation we give at graduation, gives them a better chance at finding quality employment upon release. Finally, we educate and connect them to the Mission43 pillars throughout the program, providing hope to a clear pathway to opportunity in their re-integration.
This veterans group in the Idaho State Corrections Center (ISCC) sought an opportunity with Mission43 to serve the community even though they made a major mistake to set themselves back in life. They begin every meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance, still proud of their country, and still seeking ways to give back. Fortunately, they also have support from the ISCC leadership who see this as a positive opportunity for both the prison and prisoners.
Mission43 and Boise Bicycle Project will be at the ISCC twice a week for two hours of instruction and work. BBP will lead the class with a head instructor and Mission43 will provide a dedicated veteran to assist in the training.
If you want to get involved, Mission43 is looking for 5-6 volunteers who can make a long-term commitment to Shifting Gears. If you a have a basic understanding of bicycle maintenance, can educate the veteran prisoners on the four Mission43 pillars, and can commit to one or two days a month, please let us know.