Following our Winter Health blog series we wanted to continue to explore and emphasize the third value of our mission statement. GoodTurn Cycles is a nonprofit social enterprise dedicated not only to helping people achieve better health but also to providing job training to young people. GoodTurn Cycles operates in a way that puts the community first, always. And that sounds good but what does it mean? Why are we intent on being “community first”? How do we operate as community first? How do we make it a reality?

 

What it means to be “Community First”:

For us, “community first” is almost instinctual to human nature. If there is one thing that is almost inarguable it is that people are communal by nature. From the very beginning of time we have operated and survived in groups. We believe that as a society we flourish when we work together and recognize the importance of those around us. It is through communities that we are able to learn more about ourselves, love ourselves and learn to love others. It is through communities that we live our best lives and so we value being community first. To be community first means lifting our eyes and truly seeing those who are around us. It means creating a space where people are welcome to spend time, share stories and provide for one another. It means that we operate so that the welfare of the community is always considered as the most important factor of the decisions we make. It means that we have an obligation to help everyone in our community in every way that we are able.  

 

Why we are intent on being “Community First”:

Throughout the last century America has become more isolated with every decade. Our technological advancements have allowed us to separate to a point where human contact is no longer guaranteed in everyday life. This has led to growing rates of suicide and division. Here at GoodTurn Cycles we think that continued separation from one another is unacceptable. We believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to connect with those around them, and that business’ as entities of the community are not excluded. We also believe that as a business in the community we have the opportunity to make a larger impact in the community since we are a place where people gather and interact with one another. It is the community that supports and sustains us to remain in business, and so it is the community that we must give back to and help support as well. We are intent on being “Community First” because we believe that creating more of a symbiotic relationship between customers and business’ will be beneficial to the world. A retail store has become a cold place in America today. We want to be more than just a space for transaction. We want to be a place for stories and genuine connection.

 

How we operate to make “Community First” a reality:

The first and most obvious way that we live up to our claim of community first is through our job training program. The main reason our shop even exists is to provide a resource for young adults in the community who have a harder time entering the workforce. While our job training is the most obvious there is more to the picture. Something as simple as the service we provide is meant to benefit the community. We are firm believers that cycling can bring better physical and mental health. We are also aware that not all members of our community have the same physical abilities or financial situations. By providing electric bikes to rent we are trying to assure that everyone has the opportunity for a joyful riding experience. We also try to always take the time to listen to our customers needs, so that we can provide them with the bikes that are the best for them at a reasonable price. Quality bicycles that people can ride without worrying about their integrity has always been an important concern when looking at products available to have in the shop. To end, our goal for the future of our shop is to continually create even more of a community with those who are around us. We have dreams of community nights where folks can gather at the shop to learn, connect, and have fun. We want to do it all, everything from basic mechanic classes to whiskey/wine tastings. We hope that as we continue to grow our customer base we can continue to get to know the stories of everyone we meet.

We are here for relationships, not transactions.

So if your in the area stop by the shop today, and if your farther out send us an email or give us a call. Let us know how we can better connect with, serve and provide for you, our community.

Thanks for reading,

Kyle Freeman

kyle@goodturncycles.org

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