Ted Haynie has been around Bikes for the World since the beginning and he's done a little bit of everything from collecting bikes to driving trucks and even guiding the organization. After serving on our board, Ted's been MIA with BfW for the last couple years, only poking his head into the warehouse to deliver a stray bike or sewing machine. That is until last year.
Even in the middle of a pandemic, you can't slow Ted down. He had been trying to revive his work with BfW by working on a partnership in southern Maryland to help rescue bikes from the waste stream. He eventually made the connection with the Calvert County recycling center which now has a bike corral maintained by...you guessed it, Ted! And it sure does keep him busy. So far this year they have contributed over 100 bikes to our program.
When the pandemic shut us down in 2020 at a critical time in our collection season, Bikes for the World really leaned on our partnerships with bike shops and especially waste transfer stations. On a regular basis we work with half a dozen recycling facilities who set bikes aside for our beneficiaries. Over the past year nearly 50% of our donated bikes have come from this source. It's very convenient to have these outlets where we can assess bikes on the spot, bringing back what can be immediately included in our shipments. Our Operations team, which also consists of several volunteers who maintain these sites, can also set aside bikes that can be used to supply spare parts once our warehouse team of mechanics strips them from the marginal bikes. Anything that is not up to par is simply recycled on the spot.
At the very least, we visit the recycling centers every other week, more often once a week. And we return to the warehouse with a full load on the truck....40-60 bikes. Because the facility in Calvert County is a 3 hour round trip, having someone local manage and remove bikes is what makes this relationship possible. Once Ted has a truck load (or more) of bikes he heads up the road to deliver them to us. He's collecting bikes, prepping them for the shipments, and even receiving financial support from generous donors. This effort is helping us make our deadlines and quotas when donating containers to our partners overseas. Because scheduling shipments is more difficult now in the wake of the pandemic, this extra load of bikes usually arrives at a critical time.
Ted got his start with Bikes for the World while he was still working in the Calvert County School District. He's been a teacher and administrator, so he knows how to organize, teach, and get things done. Getting his students involved with community service was an important activity that Ted took to heart.
Many school officials will use the Bikes for the World experience to help kids learn more about the world and the importance of giving back. Collecting bikes is a popular, rewarding service project that many schools bring back year after year. For example, Sherwood High School is our longest serving school collection site having never missed a year collecting 600 bikes.
Well hosting a simple bike collection wasn't enough for Ted. When he tackled this project back in 2008 he didn't stop at one school, he recruited several schools in Calvert County to all collect bikes during a one day event. His team effort still holds the one day collection record at 700 bikes. And how does one transport 700 bikes back to the warehouse? You don't. You immediately load them into a shipping container to be donated the same weekend...yeah, that's how Ted Haynie rolls.