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Generous Bike Donors Help Teens Learn Real World Job Skills

TopLine Hosted a Bike Drive to Benefit a Local St. Paul Youth Apprenticeship Program

MAPLE GROVE, MN -- (Marketwired) -- 07/16/14 -- On May 31, 2014 TopLine Federal Credit Union hosted a bike donation drive at its Como Park branch location with donations benefiting one of Keystone Community Services' Youth Programs, the Express Bike Shop. TopLine members traveled from near and far to drop off their unused bikes to help support local youth employment. Donations ranged from a single bike to truck and trailer loads. As the day wrapped up, TopLine members had donated nearly 80 bikes.

Why are the bikes so important? Keystone's Youth Express Program, Express Bike Shop and Express Yourself Clothing, are youth directed social enterprises, serving as learning labs for young people entering the workplace, with all revenue reinvested back into the programs. These youth development and entrepreneurial training programs teach young people real world job skills and provide employment opportunities as paid apprentices.

Heidi Feehan, a 10+ year TopLine member, and her son Nick made the trek from Big Lake, MN to donate his old bike. Heidi, who learned about the bike drive from TopLine's newsletter and website, said, "It's a great way to give back and recycle a bike for reuse, knowing my donation will give teens the opportunity to learn a new skill."

"TopLine members eagerly showed their support to help their local community's non-profit serve the needs of youth," says Tom Smith, TopLine President and CEO. "Bikes that were sitting idle in garages or fated for the scrap yard are now giving teens the opportunity to learn new skills needed to be successful in work and life, and 100% of profits are reinvested back into the internship program."

Express Bike Shop goal is 500 bikes, which provide 20 apprentice opportunities this summer. The bike shop, located at 1158 Selby Ave in St. Paul, accepts bike donations of all kinds and uses these donations to train young people on how to fix and refurbish bikes for resale. Plus, youth gain valuable experience operating a small business, like daily shop responsibilities including assisting customers, preparing the bank deposit, and ordering and stocking items in the retail area, as well as completing a Bicycle Repair Certification. Visit www.exbike.com to learn more.

TopLine Federal Credit Union, a Twin Cities-based credit union, is Minnesota's 13th largest, with assets of more than $350 million. Established in 1935, the not-for-profit cooperative offers a complete line of financial services, as well as auto and home insurance, from its five branch locations -- in Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, Plymouth and in St. Paul's Como Park -- as well as by phone, mobile app and online at www.TopLinecu.com. Membership is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or volunteers in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington Counties and their immediate family members.

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