Silicon Valley Bike Exchange was happy to have volunteers from National Charity League, Mid-Peninsula Chapter, for the first time at our workday on Saturday, January 24th. Jennie and her mom Renee were there as well as Julie and her daughter Alaina.
Q: What have you been doing here today?
Renee: “We’ve been working with a mentor, (Bike Exchange volunteer) John, and he’s been taking us through (the checklist),
Jennie: . . . and holding our hand . . .
Renee: . . . every step of the way, from top to bottom and hopefully we’ll retain some of it”
Q: Tell me about National Charity League?
Renee: “National Charity League is a mother/daughter philanthropy organization. We support different organizations like 2nd Harvest Food Bank, Save the Bay, My New Red Shoes, and Serve the Peninsula. We volunteer together.
Julie: “It’s a 6 year program that goes from 6th grade through 12th. We volunteer for different charity organizations up and down the peninsula. This is our last year with NCL because Alaina will be graduating this year. This (Bike Exchange) is a new one for us, it’s done in a day; not one of our usual non-profits. I’m glad to hear we have more days working here.”
Q: Why the Bike Exchange?
Renee: “I thought this would be a great thing to do because Jennie is going off to college and will most likely have a bike there and if she could pick up even just simple maintenance it would make her life a lot easier.”
Q: And how has your day been so far?
Alaina: “Fun! Very educational.
Julie: “ Bikes are not a mystery anymore. It’s kinda cool.”
Alaina: “ I’ve learned a lot. I’ve done the bearings and the brakes. I’m gonna go home and take my bike all apart now and try and fix it.”
What’s the benefit of a donated bike?
Renee: “ I think i’sthat the kids will have the opportunity to have an almost brand new bike, I mean they look pretty good! We’re not only trying to make them safe, but we’re trying to make them look nice too. And I like that through (Sunday Friends), they have to sort of “buy” the bikes with the points they earn.”
Q: What do you get out of volunteering for the Bike Exchange?
Jennie: ”It’s rewarding because you see how much it affects their life and how you’re helping them.“
Renee: “It’s nice to hear where the bikes are going to go because you don’t see it right in front of you.”
Q: How does volunteering with Bike Exchange compare with volunteering for other organizations?
Julie: This is definitely more hands on than other things we’ve done. Feels like we actually accomplished something at the end of the day.”
Alaina: “And it’s more fun than other things we’ve done. You can actually see what you’ve done and know some kid’s gonna get a bike and be happy. It’s nice to know you’re doing something worthwhile. (It’s) much better than sorting moldy fruit.”
Renee and Jennie watch as BikeEx volunteer John demonstrates adjusting the headset.
Jennie pumps up the front tire while Renee checks for leaks.
Jennie adjusts the back brake while Renee helps.
Alaina installs a front brake.
Alaina adds a brake lever to her donated bike.
Julie and Alaina admire their work.