Featured Volunteer: Patrick Short
Patrick Short, with Boy Scout troop 1916, completed his Eagle Project with Bikes for the World last month collecting bikes that were donated to Burkina Faso, Africa. We were counting on this event to bring us enough bikes to fill a container we had scheduled just 12 days after we loaded a container for Barbados.
Since the pandemic upended the shipping industry and the supply and demand chain, scheduling our shipments has become a bit of a challenge. Moving into July we picked up a big truck full of bikes from a partner in North Carolina. On top of our local pick ups, this began to overwhelm our warehouse. Or at least our staff as they stared at a empty calendar and a warehouse full of bikes. We needed to get something scheduled...fast!
It's not like our ED Taylor wasn't working on it, but as we said, scheduling has been a challenge. Then all of a sudden everything opened up, and Taylor took them all like he was working the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Costa Rica, Madagascar, Barbados, Burkina Faso. He lined up the shipments and for July, we were good. We had the bikes and they were ready to roll out the door.
Turning into August, we loaded a container for Barbados which wiped the warehouse clean. We had very few bikes left to donate. At least that were prepped and ready to go. And we had 12 days until the next container showed up. But we had an ace up our sleeve. We were counting on Patrick's Eagle Project to bail us out. And he delivered.
Sure, we've had Eagle Projects that netted 180 bikes before. And to fill a container, we needed 500 bikes. Were we really counting on Patrick to collect three times as many bikes at his project? No, we weren't. But just like our claim, Changing Bikes One Bike at a Time. We know the value one bike can bring. And that was something we were counting on.
We also know the value one scout can bring. Patrick started working on his project in the spring, long before we had our loading schedule set up, we had no clue how important this one collection would become. He set out planning and executing his event just like any other scout. He secured a location, recruited volunteers, trained them, and asked them to help advertise. He coordinated early pick ups which always complicates the project, and requires more management. Bikes needed to be stored and transported, which happened seamlessly. It also helps fills in the gaps during the collection when things are slow. In the end Patrick collected 50 bikes four days before our loading.
And those 50 bikes, that came into our warehouse prepped and ready to go...absolutely helped us meet our goal for our shipment that went out the Wednesday after Patrick's collection. And as for Patrick, just another scout working on his Eagle Project with Bikes for the World...well, that ONE scout, just happened to be our 100th Eagle Project...so a bit of a milestone with us.
As if that weren't enough of a celebration...with the bikes collected at Patrick's collection, we also crossed the 10,000 bikes collected threshold. Including Eagle Projects, Girl Scout projects, Cub Scouts, Daisies...all of our scout collections combined have added 10,000 bikes to our 180,000 bikes donated since 2005.