Sometimes a bicycle is more than just a bicycle. Sometimes a bicycle is a metaphor for building a more caring community!
Sometimes a bicycle is more than just a bicycle! Sometimes a bicycle is the only means to get to work, or to open up new vistas. A bike is something privileged children take for granted and something, that a lot of times, is out of reach for under-privileged children.
We collect a lot of bikes, hundreds are donated to us each year. Half of them are OK but need a little work. The other half are terrible – embarrassingly terrible; rusted, worn out, unsafe and makes us wonder what people are thinking when they leave them with us.
The bikes that are good, generally need one or more safety interventions; brake pads, inner tubes, tires, chains fixed and wheels aligned. Which is not the easiest thing for us to do – actually it’s almost impossible. So a lot of good bikes never get re-purposed and gifted.
Bicycles were a huge problem for us until our “Go To Guy” Bob Cormier introduced us to Kim Camera at Yesteryear Cyclery. Kim became a quiet and generous donor of used bikes that he could not take in trade, or re-sell. His crew fixes them up to be safe and then Kim shows up after work and drops them off for us to give to local children. Then it got better – Bob would bring bikes that were donated to us, that needed some work, to Kim and Kim and his crew would make them safe.
Then it got even better, if that’s possible! Last week Kim showed up with a zillion tools and spare parts and his best friend Andy. They spent the day – went through our entire inventory and were able to make safe and re-purpose 51 bicycles! On the face of it a tremendous act of charity and kindness. Two professional men spending their day doing a day’s work, but not for themselves – but rather for 51 local kids who would never be able to have their own bicycle.
Last week Kim and Andy set a most perfect example of giving and service – they are truly a bright and shining light and helped define for us what it takes to actually build a more caring community!