This month’s Giving Project nonprofit is BICASthe Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage.

The organization helps people acquire a bicycle, many of whom need transportation to and from work. One of those people is current BICAS board member Matt Harmon, who tells me the nonprofit is in the business of something bigger than bikes alone.

“Commuting by bike really changed my life. My doctor would tell you that it saved my life,” Harmon says.

Thirteen years ago, Harmon says he was at an unhealthy weight with dangerously high cholesterol. He got the idea of biking the 12 miles round-trip to work for his health.

But after discovering a new bike would be far too expensive, Harmon bought a bike in parts from a U of A surplus auction.

That’s when Harmon found BICASand organization where he was able to reassemble those surplus parts into functioning bicycle.

The discount transportation bike became a big part of his return to good health.

“I was able to bring my weight down to a more healthy level and reduce my cholesterol levels without medication.”

With routine trips Harmon was making to BICAS, he was asked to become a board member 10 years ago.

“I was really honored by the offer, because it really did change my life.”

Harmon then became an avid cyclist, riding in the last eight El Tour De Tucson events.

Pat Parris: In a lot of ways you’re trying to pay it forward a little bit. What BICAS did for you, you’re trying to do for others? Matt Harmon: That’s my hope.

Harmon points out there are ways for people with a low income to get a bike they may need for transportation.

“You can come to BICAS. You can work in the shop through our work-trade program. You can walk out with a bike so you can get to and from work. You don’t have to have cash.”

There are two ways to help support BICAS through our Giving Project: by either donating used bikes and bike parts, or by giving a monetary donation directly through their online donor portal.

For more information on how to donate bike, bike parts or tools, visit

Your donation qualifies for Arizona’s charitable tax credit.

And don’t forget, your Giving Project donation qualifies for Arizona’s charitable tax credit.

Our partners in the Giving Project, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, will again match the first $500 in donation.

BICAS, located at 2001 N. 7th Avenue, is open Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., with classes at various times throughout the month.