Fixing Bikes for Kids - Juan Soto and His Mission


woom recently learned about an Austinite, Juan Soto, who, through the pandemic, founded 100 Bikes for Kids, an organization that refurbishes used bikes for children in need. Juan learned about an opportunity to serve the students at the Texas School for the Deaf but did not have the bikes to support them.

 

To make this wish come true, we partnered with the team at Returning the Favor, a series on Facebook watch hosted by Emmy award-winning Mike Rowe that finds remarkable people making a difference in their communities. woom donated 50 woom bikes to Juan for this cause, and an additional $5,000 was donated to Juan's non-profit on woom's behalf. Juan was surprised with the bikes on this episode of Returning the Favor.

If you haven’t seen the episode yet, grab some tissues and hit play. It was truly an honor to have the opportunity to meet Juan and hear about his mission.


It’s been a little over a month since the episode aired, so we caught up with Juan to see what he’s doing now and how we can continue to support him and his organization, 100 Bikes for Kids. So far, he has refurbished and donated almost 200 bikes, and the demand continues to grow.

 

Juan is a husband and father of 3 beautiful children. By day, he is a bicycle mechanic. At the beginning of the pandemic, Juan and his daughter, Lucero, started to refurbish kids’ bikes and donate them to kids in the community.

 

Why and how did you start 100 bikes for kids?

 

“My daughter and I were thinking of ways we can help others during these difficult times. We had a lot of time together being at home because of the pandemic that we decided we can help other kids in our neighborhood get on two wheels and enjoy bike rides the way we do.”


What has been the most surprising thing about starting 100 bikes for kids?

 

“The most surprising thing was how many people have been so supportive and willing to help us. We have met some very grateful kids and families. We have also met some awesome neighbors, and it has been very good connecting with people through bikes.”

 

What’s next for you and your organization?

 

“Because of the response and need for a project like this, we are trying to grow it and nurture as best we can so we can help anybody who needs a bike. The next phase of our project is to find shop space so we can fix and give away bikes more efficiently on a year-round basis.”

 

How can the community help support you and your mission?

 

“The community can help by donating bikes, volunteering their time and skills to help us fix bikes, and supporting us financially so we can continue to grow this project.”

 

Juan is looking to scale his original mission, but he can’t do it alone. If you’d like to donate 100 Bikes for Kids, please click here.

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