Judy Mitchell has been working with Bikes for the World longer than any of the current employees, and more recently she has really upped her game. She is now counted among our elite team of retirees who can frequently be found tinkering around the warehouse on any given day. Judy started volunteering with us alongside her husband, Jim Mitchell who has run an annual bike collection with their church since the beginning of Bikes for the World. Before retiring a few years ago, Judy was actually a teacher at Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church, where we host that collection.
In addition to collecting bikes for us every June, we see Jim in our warehouse at least once or twice a month when he delivers a load of bikes that accumulate mostly at Race Pace Bicycle shops north of our warehouse. He loads them up on his trailer and then drives them down to the warehouse, saving us a trip. We think Judy's been helping with this for a bunch of years, but we didn't see her much when we were based down in Arlington. Of course that may have been because WE weren't there as much in the warehouse either!
But now that the office and warehouse are combined, and Jim and Judy are closer since we moved to Rockville, oh and they are both now retired, we get to see the Mitchell duo a lot more often. In fact, Judy now comes every time we load a container even though we keep scheduling them on her usual gym day. But as we see it, who needs a gym work out when you can come lift bikes for four hours!? Judy tracks her steps in the warehouse and swears she's walking like nine miles every time we load. That seems hard to believe now that our warehouse is about a quarter of the size it used to be. But Judy has her hands on nearly every single one of the bikes going into that container so there is absolutely no doubt that she is putting in the miles.
Like many retirees we are competing for her time between grandchildren, activities, and now camper vacations so we are always glad to see both of them when we load. This new crew we have makes loading so much more efficient and has allowed us to move from two day loading events to just one. Seriously, we now complete the task in half the amount of time, which saves us time, energy and money. So for Judy those loading Wednesdays are now no longer gym days, but for us they are welcomed JIM AND JUDY Days!