Saturday, December 14, 2013

Building bicycles

For the last few years, Kyle's soccer team has been volunteering for an organization called "Elves and More".  This non-profit group builds bicycles of all shapes and sizes and then on a weekend before Christmas, they drive a truck to an underprivileged neighborhood to donate them to children in need.  When you read their website, you find out that a lot of research goes into choosing the neighborhood who will receive the donations, like there needs to be a YMCA or community center that children can ride their new bikes to for classes, outreach, and adult support.  This year, Kyle and I thought Grace was old enough to go so we made this a family outing to volunteer our time.
We all woke up early, threw clothes on, and drove to a warehouse in Akron. The organization keeps all the details of the bike build and distribution a secret. You receive an email a few days before with the location and time to show up.  They sign you in, give you a free T-shirt, and you choose a table to do your building.
Kyle did all the building and Grace and I busied ourselves by unpacking the bikes from their boxes and collecting caps to put back on the tires once they were inflated.

Once the 350 helpers started completing bikes they needed help moving the bikes to Quality Control (where they inspect them to make sure they are safe), adding tags, and then putting them in the storage area where the bikes were lined up to be loaded on the trucks.  Kyle and I were both pleased that Grace kept busy and worked most of 4 hours we were there.
Counting bikes

We were happy to be a part of building 1,300 bikes that will be delivered to two Akron neighborhoods simultaneously next weekend.

I think we have a new Christmas tradition!


Nana said...

Great job! This really is a great tradition to start and keep going. I love the picture of the three of you (need more of those) and the one with all the

Phyllis said...

I am so happy to see you all sharing love for Christmas. This is a wonderful thing, and says everything about Christmas. Good job you three.