By Christy Cowley, Executive Director
One-hundred-seventeen! That’s the total number of kid bikes volunteers refurbished and donated to Christmas House this holiday season.
Hundreds of new parts, lots of elbow grease and TLC is what it takes to bring life back to a used bike. Since October we’ve had 47 volunteers working 487 hours in our shop every Tuesday and Thursday evening (and a few Sundays) to ready these bikes for the holidays. And while volunteer labor may be ‘free’, there are costs for parts, accessories, snacks, and staff time.
Much gratitude goes to the Stillaquamish Tribe for funding this important program. Their generosity allows us to refurbish bikes with new and safer parts, ensuring a longer lifespan for each gifted bike.
We started collecting bikes for this year’s program in July, securely packing them into our back storage room. Trek Bicycle Redmond and Recycled Cycles donated dozens of gently used bikes and more than 50 used bikes were donated from individual community members.
We may never know if it was simply the excitement of working together in our unique shop space that fueled the volunteers each night or was it the 360 “bundtini” cakes donated by Nothing Bundt Cakes of Mill Creek? Either way, the heart and hustle of all the workers was evident throughout the entire season.
Thanks to our work party hosts Larry, Bruce, Kristin, Ion and Tony who did a remarkable job of mentoring and welcoming the volunteers, regardless of their prior experience.
Watching these 117 refurbished bikes finally roll out of our garage and over to Christmas House, where lucky families were able to choose the perfect bike for their child, fills my heart with joy and reminds me how fortunate I am to be part of this community.
Happy Holidays to each of you.