Evanston man fixing up bicycles to give to Chicago migrants

Ravi Baichwal Image
Tuesday, December 26, 2023
Evanston man fixing up bicycles to give to Chicago migrants
As the number of US migrants continues to climb, one Evanston man is fixing up bicycles for those in Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As Chicago migrants settle into a new life, transportation is a huge consideration.

There are all kinds of community-based organic efforts to help newcomers, including those of an Evanston man, who has made it his mission to get bicycles, donated from bike shops and good Samaritans, into migrants' hands. He takes them in, fixes them up and gives them away.

"Probably everybody has a bike in the garage that their kids have outgrown or they haven't ridden," Mike Moyer said.

Moyer, who is a newly retired banker, has two passions: bicycles and doing good.

Spurred by calls from Facebook pages at Evanston Township High School and groups such as Refugee Support Chicago and Refugee Community Connection, Moyer is in his garage every day, connecting those with very little with what he considers a lifeline.

"I just mentioned on one of my posts that 'hey, I do bicycles if anybody needs one,' and that turned into an incredibly, a lot from them for families that need to work, get to school. This is not just pleasure riding. This is transportation," he said.

RELATED: State to temporarily house hundreds of Chicago migrants in hotels as crisis continues

Eight months in, Moyer has delivered over 100 bikes to those in need. Each comes with a lock and helmet. He recently made a big delivery to a family that just arrived on the South Side from Venezuela, following a journey that started more than a year ago

"I had no idea that we had so many refugee families coming into Chicago," Moyer said.

It's a blessing for a mother who said she's a nurse back home and hoping to have work and more stability soon.

"There's no deadline; there's no end in sight. That's not a bad thing; we're a country of 350 million people. I think we can absorb 1 million people," Moyer said.

Moyer is spending $300 to $400 a week on the project. He welcomes donations of any kind.

Visit his GoFundMe for more information.