Ellsworth, Kansas, Correctional Facility

Pedals for Progress has become a valued partner with the Ellsworth Correctional Facility (ECF) located in Ellsworth Kansas.

2005springEllsworthPeopleThe goals of P4P have become personal for many of the men who work in the bicycle shop at ECF. One of the men, Scott Blanchat, has taken a very personal role with renovation of bicycles by involving his grandfather Bobby Claborn, who has generously contributed a large number of handtools and equipment for the bike project in Ellsworth. Scott has worked in this shop for many months and feels that he is not only using his mechanical talents productively but has also been able to help others through his work. The Pedals for Progress story makes a deep impact on someone who feels they are on the margins of society. The chance to be involved in such a positive activity while doing time in a state prison is very significant since it helps an individual reconnect with the outside world and especially with the good people of the developing world who can really benefit from a well tuned bicycle.

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The Kansas program has involved many outside local agencies and today has a vast network of collection efforts that brings bicycles to the correctional facility on a near daily basis. The back lot at ECF has over 1,000 bikes that have been collected and donated from across Kansas. Many of these bikes are not suitable for reconditioning, so these are cut up for scrap and sold to a local junk-iron dealer. The money collected from this recycling effort is then used to buy tubes and tires as well as shop supplies for the bike shop. The money is managed by the local Ellsworth Kiwanis Club. Scott Blanchat has come to appreciate his abilities thanks to his work in the bicycle shop at Ellsworth Correctional Facility. Scott is anxious to get out of prison and find employment that will afford him a similar opportunity to grow and serve others. Pedals for Progress has a new way to touch people positively by partnering with the Ellsworth Correctional Facility. Warden Sam Cline has been very pleased by the work habits and growth in maturity demonstrated by the men involved in this program. It has been his goal to find an industry that would employ inmates within a security setting without a large budget impact. He also hoped to find a project that could involve the men in uplifting work that they could easily see benefits others. Association with Pedals for Progress has been a good marriage for the Ellsworth Correctional Facility and together there is a bright future for many people at home and abroad to benefit. Scott Blanchat and his grandfather Bobby Claborn have seen the vision set forth by P4P and they have come to support the organization with time, talent and treasure. For additional details about the program in Kansas, click here.

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