Noah and Sam first came to our warehouse last winter to get a few community service hours with their families. They are now our youngest regular volunteers. They've work their hours in among basketball games, summer camps, and homework...these guys are always moving!
They didn't just happen upon Bikes for the World nor were they planning to check off some service hours box and move on. They found us through Charity Connect, a local non profit committed to transforming sporadic community service hours into lifelong volunteers. Cristin Caine, Founder and CEO, got to know the boys, their interests, and looked for an activity that would tap into some of that adolescent energy that made them tick.
Their enthusiasm for the work and the Bikes for the World mission was instant for both boys. At age 12, they had both fairly recently discovered the joy of being able to get around independently on two wheels. The idea of delivering bikes to children who have no other way to get to school to help them stay in school was one they could easily connect with. And, they quickly discovered that working with their hands, learning some bike mechanics, and how to conquer those mechanical challenges on their own was full of rewards.Sara, Noah's Mom
We've now been working alongside Sam and Noah for about a year and we've really seen them learn and grow (literally) right there in our warehouse. They are now tackling all sizes of bikes and working through rusty problems on their own. Occasionally they still show up with a mom or a sister, but often they come in and work independently, assisting each other when a rusty pedal puts up a fight. They also show a true concern about where the bikes are heading next and how they will make a difference in someone's life.
We have found the work to be rewarding and fun, and we have learned mechanical skills. We have gone from asking what to do when a bike is rusty, to solving our own problems using the different tools available to us. Whether it was using WD-40 or a hammer, we have learned to find ways around problems.Sam and Noah
After a few sessions in the warehouse they started thinking about their Bar Mitzvah Projects. They turned back to Cristin and worked with her to develop a plan to collect bikes for our program.
Besides the hammers, wrenches, and aroma of WD40 hanging in the air, Sam and Noah really connected with the impact they were having around the world. Students in the Philippines, farmers in Ghana, health workers in Madagascar...lives were being improved and Sam and Noah had a hand in it.
They wanted to make an even greater impact, by collecting bikes on their own. So on October 7th Sam and Noah will be collecting (and compacting) bikes at Temple Emanuel on Connecticut Avenue in Kensington. If you have a bike you'd like to donate, please drop it by the collection from 12pm -3pm. The crew working the event will get it ready for our next shipment, which will be going to Costa Rica.
Their goal is 100 bikes and $1,000. If you don't have a bike and you'd still like contribute you can make a financial donation right here on our website. If you designate it for Sam and Noah we'll make sure it goes toward their goal.