Featured Volunteer: Records Family
The Records Family has been wrenching bikes in Cumberland for longer than some of the brothers had hands strong enough to hold a pedal wrench. Mike and Sue (the parents) and their seven kids have been involved with the Cumberland Rotary/Western Maryland Wheelmen's collective Bikes for the World bike drive stretching back over many years.
Patrick, above, lends a hand to Dad who is often delivering truck loads of bikes throughout the day to the collection. Brian, below, is busy at the pedal work station getting the bikes ready for our truck. The organization of the event lends to a great atmosphere for families to serve together. They think of everything from donuts to prep stations taped off on the sidewalk: pedals removal here, handlebar rotation there. With a collection that only lasts two hours and brings in over 100 bikes, they need to be quick.
This event is a great family activity for a group of people who love bikes. Mom and Dad valued this opportunity to instill a strong sense of service in their kids. These boys grew up helping people and it's so good to still see them doing it today all these years later. Dan has been at it since we formed in 2005!
This Cumberland collection is an important connection for BfW, as the most western point in the state where we receive bikes. The next closest drop off location is Hagerstown, over an hour away. This is truly the only place out there to donate bikes throughout the year, so donors count on it and come rain or shine.
Valerie Van Hollen has been managing this event for the past several years and says, "I'm pleased. I LOVE my team." This year the Western Wheelmen collected 153 bikes, not a record for them, but certainly makes an impact in our program. Since 2005, Cumberland has turned over 1608 bikes total to BfW.
"This collection is critical to our spring donations. We are so busy in April, especially around Earth Day, and then the collections sort of drop off. Our partners still need bikes, and Cumberland's incredible effort every year allows us to plan shipments without a drop in bikes," notes Outreach Coordinator Yvette Hess.
Cumberland collected bikes throughout the year which helped boost their number this year. A volunteer helped bring some of those to us over the winter when we needed bikes for a shipment. They also partner with Cumberland Trail Connection (and owner Hutch) and collect bikes at the hospital the day before.
This year was extra special with a visit from a team of volunteers from the Eastern Shore who turned a wrench or two in the warehouse prepping bikes for Burkina Faso and later helped unload the bikes from Cumberland. That weekend we bridged the gap in Maryland with volunteers stretching 300 miles to help!