As we begin the penultimate week of our 2021 campaign, we’re deep into the stock of 26” and adult multi-speed bikes–almost all of which are more complex than the average child’s bike, and more time consuming to properly prepare for the next user.
Nevertheless, thanks to a big surge in volunteers, we’ve kept pace. Last week we worked on over 150 bikes and refurbished almost all of them, bringing our total to 1542. So far this year, over 300 volunteers have devoted over 2300 hours to the cause—twice the pace of last year. Massive thanks to last week’s volunteers, including representatives from Race Pace Bicycles Patapsco Bicycles, The Cycle Mill, and Service Course Cycle Studio, and especially to Jon Posner and the volunteers from the Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League for making this progress possible. We still have about 150 bikes to finish up as we begin planning in earnest for the Giveaway, but we’ll get there!
To simplify our Giveaway Day on December 11, we’re having a smaller event between 10 AM and Noon on December 4 in which we’ll give away tricycles, striders, and tiny bikes to about 150 recipients, most of them preschoolers. You’re welcome to volunteer to help out; sign up for our special 9 AM – Noon shifts at FB4KMaryland.org/volunteer. Masks will be required.
And of course the big event is December 11.
We will schedule families to arrive in a steady stream starting at about 9:00 AM, and the process will be much the same as last year, albeit in an event that has more than twice the participants: Recipients will check in, have their height confirmed, select a helmet of the correct size, and then select a bike from about ten of the correct size. About 1200 children have been signed up as recipients to date. Our remaining bikes will be sent in batches during the week of December 12.
Three-hour volunteer shifts are available here starting at 8:00 AM; we can use folks over the age of 12 with all levels of bicycle expertise to register families, measure heights, hand out helmets, move bicycles to the selection area, and apply and remove wristbands. Mechanics and preppers are needed to help children select the correctly-sized bikes and to make final adjustments. Masks will be required.
We’d love to have you join us!