It’s a Saturday Spring morning. Volunteers are showing up by the two’s and three’s. Families and friends walk up. Mechanics are arriving. People from Feedback Sports, 6202 Cycling Club, Trek, American Family Insurance and many other companies arrive… American Furniture Warehouse provided trucks to safely transport the hundreds of bikes directly to the schools. The bikes are laid out in rows.
It’s a little overwhelming, only because I know what’s ahead of us, and what’s behind us. The media is patiently waiting for the excitement to begin. The anticipation builds for everyone as families start to arrive, lining up around the school.
I look around, everyone works in harmony. Volunteers ask where they can best help, be it sizing the kids appropriately or leading them to their perfect bike. Maybe it’s helping at the snow-cone stand, the face painting table, the bike decorations table, fitting the helmets, or handing out water bottles or locks. Maybe it’s going on safety rides, helping the families, or simply smiling at the kids who earned this very special day.
This is The Dream Bike Event.
We pull the volunteers together and a few words are said by our mighty leader. Simply put, “Today is for the children.” We are a conduit, providing opportunity for families in need. I look up, everyone gets it, eyes are closed and deep breaths are taken. All 120 volunteers know, today is for the kids. Today we pull ourselves away from our daily life, and help one another.
January of this year, AJ Stapleton, Project ReCycle’s Executive Director, went to two Elementary Schools, one in Denver Public Schools and one in Adams County School District. He rallied the children, stating they will earn a Bike if they participate in Project ReCycle’s own Dream Bike Program come Spring. The kids cheered and their eyes sparkled with joy. EVERY ONE of the kids will get a bike, helmet, lock and a day of fun at the end of the school year, if…….
….. IF they increase attendance, academics, and respect towards their peers and the administration. Yes, that’s the deal and it’s up to their teachers.
After the pep rally, Project ReCycle steps back and begins working on bikes. Our Mechanics dedicate time almost everyday to repair and inspect bikes at The Kick Stand . Not only for the schools, but there are other orders to fulfill every month: 10 here, 100 there, one to a family, 50 to Africa. Project ReCycle keeps holding Bike Drives, and in March begins pulling the riding team together. If you haven’t seen Project ReCycle’s The Kick Stand, it might as well be an 8th Wonder of the World. We call it The Sea of Bikes.
The hard work of these students led to Project ReCycle having two incredibly successful Dream Bike Events in 2014. Over 700 students earned a bike. Over 2000 volunteer hours were invested. (Pictures of events)
I say with the deepest gratitude, THANK YOU. Project ReCycle only continues to grow and improve. The lives we touch are countless.
There is a saying: ‘Keep your eye on the things you can’t see.”
If what I saw and witnessed is beyond words, then what I can’t see can only be a dream.