Long Island non-profit 'Brett's Bicycle Recycle' brings bikes back to life for a good cause

HUNTINGTON, Long Island (WABC) -- Brett's Bicycle Recycle collects worn down bicycles to repair and donate to anyone in need of a bike in the community.

Lisa Karrer and her wife, Deborah Porretto, do this in the back of their house which has now become a makeshift bike repair shop. They decided to give back to the community in honor of Karrer's late brother Brett, who tragically passed away in a motorcycle accident on May 15th, 2015.

"It's never going to take away that spot that's missing, but it's healing and giving back is amazing," said Karrer.

After Brett's death, the Huntington community came together for Karrer and Porretto. Since then, they have been giving back to the community one bike at a time.

"It feels good doing this in his memory, it helps heal just a little bit and it keeps us talking about him," said Porretto. "When somebody dies and you don't talk about them it's almost as if they are forgotten, so this way he's not ever."

Not only do Karrer and Porretto collect and donate bikes, but they also hold an annual bicycle safety event that focuses on safety for bike locks, reflectors, and helmets. As well as providing demonstrations in safe bicycle riding, bike maintenance, helmet fittings, and hands-only CPR by trained local first responders.

Karrer and Porretto want to emphasize the importance of teaching roadway safety awareness for both bicycles and motorcycles, focusing on the deadly hazards of left-hand turns to smaller vehicles like motorcycles and bicycles.

They hope events like this can teach others and prevent tragedies like Brett's from ever happening again.

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