These days, the challenges of a tough economy make finding ways to save money essential. Books on Wheels, a two-year-old local non-profit, is bringing something new to the frugality game.
These days, the challenges of a tough economy make finding ways to save money essential.
Books on Wheels, a two-year-old local non-profit, is bringing something new to the frugality game.
Books, Bikes, and Beyond, a thrift store that opened last Friday, could offer more than the average bargain. Just as the name implies, the store sells a wide variety of items – perhaps most unique – working bicycles.
“We fix our bikes before we sell them on the floor,” said co-founder Shelley Briggs. “And our books are always free.”
Located at 302 W. Brookland Park Blvd. in Northside, the idea for the store branched out from Books on Wheels’s need for storage.
“Since we started [Books on Wheels] in 2007, we have only been working out of the buses, our houses, and we had our books and bikes stored in a few places around town,” stated Briggs. “I felt that not having our own space was really keeping us from being more organized and allowing us to grow as an organization.”
Co-founder Ward Tefft said finding new ways to keep Books on Wheels mobile was another driving force behind the development of the store.
“Shelley and I have run Books On Wheels off of the generosity of businesses and individuals in Richmond and on the road,” Tefft said. “After two and a half years of asking for monetary donations, we were hesitant to keep asking for money.”
Briggs said the store opened within a month of renting the space due to continued donations and support from the community. Currently the façade of the building is unfinished but will soon receive new signage and a paint job.
Books on Wheels seeks to provide books and bicycle repairs to those who might not be able to afford them. The store provides another avenue in which B.O.W can lend a hand in a more permanent way.
“It allows us to provide even more services to the community – more access to free books, inexpensive clothing and housewares, etc. – while funding the main purpose of Books on Wheels: using the bus to bring free books and bike repair to communities that otherwise lack access to such services,” Tefft stated.
“It was necessary to keep B.O.W running literally, but I feel like it’s a good way to be out in the community and not just sitting on my computer at home trying to find funding for our projects,” said Briggs. “I like to see people every day and talk to them in person about what the organization does.”
According to the Chop Suey web site (a local bookstore owned by Tefft which serves as a book donation site) Books on Wheels “gives away thousands of books and fixes hundreds of bikes each year.”
“Shelley’s idea of opening the store is perfect,” Tefft stated. “People can come in to shop for great things that they need, and in turn support the longevity of Books On Wheels.”
For more information on Books on Wheels, the thrift store, or to make a donation, stop by their web site at booksonwheelsrva.blogspot.com.