Ron Boyd is a Thursday night regular. Sometimes it's just him alone in there prepping bikes for the next big shipment, but we've come to rely on him quite a bit to keep that room under control. Knocking those bikes back every week not only helps us fill our containers for our partners around the world but it also helps Jonathan and Glenn have room to stack the hundreds more that will be there for next Thursday.
Ron was with us the last Thursday before Covid-Quarantine and helped us close the doors on the warehouse. This week will mark the 12th Thursday without volunteers which makes us incredibly sad. It's really the volunteers that breathe life into Bikes for the World. We feed off their energy and they really make our warehouse a wrenching, fun space.
Over the past month staff started going back to the warehouse for very limited operations and always pre-arranged to avoid all of us showing up at once. While our warehouse is big enough to socially distance ourselves, the office space is quite small so we've all been working from home. The guys have started making some no-contact pick ups and we added a Thursday slot for folks to drop their bikes at the warehouse. All this means is the bikes are stacking up again especially without our regular volunteer help.
Yvette also started going in once a week to prep bikes alone to make more room for Jonathan and Glenn, but it's just not the same without volunteers. Guys like Ron, Frank, Walter, Ron, Jeff, and Mark drop in at least once every single week. They are all missing the work they do at Bikes for the World knowing how very important it is to so many lives around the world.
We are also making the transition to having just one location to store bikes, our main warehouse in Rockville. This past week we said goodbye to our trailers we have had for more than a decade. These are the same ones that served as our central location in Tysons and have been a great storage aid for us the past few years in Pentagon City. They will definitely be missed and will press us even more to move bikes quickly through our warehouse, something that is currently on hold.
Once we get back to our normal flow, our volunteers will be key in making everything roll smoothly. And we know Ron, for one, is ready to come back. He has helped us on a few loadings over the past year and of course prepping bikes nearly every Thursday he's in town. We are doing our best to figure out the safest way to resume our work with volunteers once we get the green light to get back to work. We can't wait to see all of you again!
Seeing Ron every week was definitely a highlight and something I've been missing since March. I can't believe our busiest month passed us by without a single bike collection. Not seeing friendly faces in person, collecting bikes, and helping our partners overseas has been tough, but Ron is still getting me through these challenging times. Now instead of seeing him every week, I'm looking for that email in my inbox instead. And he's still putting a smile on my face even though we are currently towns apart.Yvette Hess, Outreach Coordinator