Nonprofit hopes to change lives with refurbished bikes

A Stamford-based nonprofit is looking to spread its message that "a bike can change a life." The Northeast Community Cycles is a community initiative started

The Northeast Community Cycles is a community initiative started in 2012 by Tony Suppa and his wife Phyllis Lodata-Suppa. The nonprofit provides refurbished bicycles to underprivileged children and adults.

The Northeast Community Cycles is a community initiative started in 2012 by Tony Suppa and his wife Phyllis Lodata-Suppa. The nonprofit provides refurbished bicycles to underprivileged children and adults. (10/26/15)

STAMFORD - A Stamford-based nonprofit is looking to spread its message that "a bike can change a life."

The Northeast Community Cycles is a community initiative started in 2012 by Tony Suppa and his wife Phyllis Lodata-Suppa. The nonprofit provides refurbished bicycles to underprivileged children and adults.

Phyllis says the nonprofit is growing each year. The couple says they have given away 2,500 bicycles since the company's inception.

Suppa says a group of volunteers dismantle bicycle parts donated by bike shops and local police departments. They then restore them to their recipient's likings.

Recipients include dozens of groups, including veteran organizations, shelters, schools and community programs.

Phyllis told News 12 that her husband gained inspiration from an uncle, who used to take bikes off the street, repair them and give them to kids in the neighborhood.

"I asked him once how many bikes he'd done, and he said six," Suppa says. "And I said, 'wow, I'm going to do about 600.'"

Suppa says as an adult he began to try to make good on that childhood goal, accepting old bikes from people in his neighborhood and fixing them up in his garage.

The couple believes that through improved mobility and self-empowerment, bikes have the power to change lives.

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