Hold on to those old bicycles you might want to throw out during spring cleaning. A number of Ottawa organizations want to use them to transform lives both here and abroad.

Cycle Salvation is a not-for-profit organization that refurbishes old donated bikes. Organizer Paul Wylie works with the Causeway work Centre, where he trains people with mental illnesses to repair bicycles and learn employment skills.

"Most of them are eager to get to work," says Wylie. "They're motivated."

re-Cycle's Bicycle Co-op shares the same repair shop, but if a bike is beyond saving they make sure as little as possible ends up at the landfill.

Bicycles for Humanity collects unwanted two-wheelers once a year, loads them onto a cargo container, and ships them to children in Namibia. This year's shipment is scheduled for May 30.

"What a bike really does is allow access to employment, health care, food, and water," said organizer Seb Oran.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Kate Eggins