Gearing Up cycling program puts Philadelphia women on new paths

Gearing Up is a nonprofit that uses cycling programs to work with women in transition from abuse, addiction or incarceration. | Photo via gearing-up.orgFor many Philadelphians a bike is a functional tool, a way to get from point A to point B, a staple of their daily commute. But at Gearing Up, a Philadelphia nonprofit that works with women in transition from abuse, addiction or incarceration, a bike is much more than that. For many of the women in Gearing Up’s programs, a bike is their path to a new life – one that’s physically, socially and emotionally healthy.

“The goal is to put the tools in the hands of the woman so that when she transitions, she has the tools with her as she moves on to the next phase of her life,” says Kristin Gavin, Gearing Up’s director and founder. In addition to running a spinning class at the Riverside Correctional Facility, Gearing Up works with several recovery programs in Philadelphia to help women use regular cycling as a way to support their efforts to remain drug and alcohol free, as well as integrate back into a social structure and deal with weight gain that often accompanies incarceration. 

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Above the Fold: Sophisticated technology and inspired employees power a laundry revolution

Story by Molly O'Neill l Photos by Albert Yee ON A BRISK FRIDAY AFTERNOON, Gabriel Mandujano parks his bicycle and enters a large, clean laundromat at 48th and Pine. Three women in neon green Wash Cycle Laundry t-shirts greet him enthusiastically, though their hands never stop sorting socks and folding sheets. He checks in with each employee, taking a moment to help fold while he talks, then walks into a back room, where a computer system is tracking bags of clothing and linens from pickup to delivery. He stops briefly to answer a phone call then hops back on his bike to continue his rounds to two other facilities. After that, it’s back to the office at 17th and Arch to handle paperwork, bookkeeping and the other facets of a blossoming small business.
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Team Sustainable: Career Wardrobe and Wash Cycle Laundry announce partnership

Philadelphia’s own Career Wardrobe and Wash Cycle Laundry have teamed up to make donating gently used women’s business clothing even easier—and greener. 

On Friday, November 18, anyone with women’s clothing to donate can schedule a free pick-up with the sustainable, bike-pick up laundry service.

Donated items and accessories will be delivered to the Career Wardrobe offices to be sorted into either interview-appropriate clothing for clients or ensembles to be sold at The Wardrobe Boutique, where ALL proceeds benefit the nonprofit. Career Wardrobe will provide donors with a tax receipt for their contributions. Any new Wash Cycle customers who sign up from the November 18 event will receive a 25 percent discount on their first use of the laundry service.

While Friday is the only day offering free services to anyone, the partnership will continue, allowing Wash Cycle Laundry customers to donate directly to Career Wardrobe when their laundry is picked up. The laundry service will even provide garment and accessory bags for delivery to Career Wardrobe’s office. 

If you do your own laundry, rather than send it out, donations can be made to Career Wardrobe at their office (12th and Chestnut Sts.), The Wardrobe Boutique (19th and Spring Garden Sts.), and their two new drop-off locations: Susquehanna Bank (1845 Walnut St.) and The Residences at Dockside (717 South Columbus Blvd.)

To schedule a free pickup on November 18, visit the Wash Cycle Laundry website

- Anna Louise Neiger