Featured Volunteer

Bikes for the World is merely the hub of all this bike donation activity. It's the spokes that create the wheel to keep this organization rolling. And time and again we give credit where credit is due...to our volunteers. It is through the support of our large group of hard working, dedicated volunteers that we are able to brag about being the nation's largest bicycle reuse organization.

Here we want to take a minute to brag about some of our stand out volunteers:

Volunteer All-Stars

Larry Orwig

Larry Orwig
June 2017

Larry Orwig is a member of the Glenwood Lions Club and a very big reason why they surpassed the 1k mark this year. Throughout the spring and fall Larry lends a hand at the Alpha Ridge Landfill in Howard County collecting bikes on behalf of BfW and the Lions Club.

Larry also realizes the importance of including the kids in the project so he works tirelessly to mentor them year after year introducing the specific bike tools we use to prep bikes to new young mechanics. Check it out.
 Sam Clingman FV

Sam Clingman (and Dad)
May 2017

Sam Clingman calls Frederick home but he came all the way down to Rockville to help us load a container for Madagascar and then again two weeks later he was on hand in Frederick to load one for El Salvador.

He's great with a wrench or pushing a bike. And his heart is in the cause. He's passionate about helping Guatamala, where he is originally from, and we just happen to be working on that now! More on Sam here.

Rinker FV

Tom and Roger Rinker
April 2017

Tom and Roger Rinker are a key component to what makes the successful collection of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek spin. This collection spot will load its own container this spring in part due to the huge success of the collection...no need moving all those bikes when they have enough to fill a container!

And it's the entire community effort behind it that makes it work. This month we honor the Rinkers, of the Bicycle Escape, see why on our blog.

Jack and Matt Morris Eagle Scouts

Jack Morris
March 2017

We were invited to a special Eagle court in February when one of our stand out Eagle Project managers was awarded his Eagle rank alongside his brother. Both Jack and Matt Morris earned their Eagle ranks this year.

Jack worked with BfW in 2015 to complete his Eagle Project. Brother Matt assisted. Jack collected more than 100 bikes, many now being used by students in the Philippines.

FV Zak

Zak Elmanakhly
February2017

Zak is a new volunteer to BfW, but he quickly made a huge impact. Zak helped us re-focus our efforts to our DC Metro roots by consolidating our distant warehouses in NY and PA.

At a time when we needed more bikes to round out shipments, Zak delivered them by the truckloads often driving great distances all night to do so.

FV Paul Keefer

Paul Keefer
January 2017

We thought we'd need to clone Executive Director Keith Oberg if we wanted to expand...until we found Paul. Paul Keefer took on the extraordinary quest of doing what we do in DC and transporting it to South Carolina.

Paul has been busy growing our network in Charleston for a little over a year now. He feels like he had slow start but we think he's hit the ground rolling.

REI scout collection

REI Co-OpDecember 2016

REI has been working with BfW since 2005. During that time they've hosted nine Eagle Projects, helped countless students earn volunteer hours for graduation, and helped us collect nearly 3,000 bikes that have changed lives around the world.

In answer to their recent Black Friday request:  We'll do more than 'go out with you', we're committed for life! WE LOVE REI

Richard Lieberman FV

Richard Lieberman
November 2016

"Richard is a great leader; he works harder than we do and encourages us all!" Linda Kolko Congregation Beth El member. "The honor really belongs to my workers, and only a little bit to me," Richard Lieberman.

Yes, this is what makes a great leader. Recruiting a great team that shares our passion and working together to fulfill the mission. Well done Congregation Beth El, and of course Richard Lieberman.

Jeff Davis FV

Jeff Davis
October 2016

"I firmly believe in repair rather than replace." REI mechanic and BfW veteran volunteer Jeff Davis.

Enough said. Jeff was a huge help mentoring kids out at King Farm and we sure do miss him and the old Montgomery County warehouse. But he's still around bringing us bikes and helping to refurbish some of the vintage bikes to sell here and support the program.

John Abendroth FV

John Abendroth
September 2016

"I had such a great time, and I'm so glad I could support your cause!" John Abendroth. John contacted us this summer hoping to partner with us for his Eagle Project. He was thrilled when we said of course! He then set a goal of 100 bikes. He was blown away when the donations came pouring in and he ended up with 181 bikes. Through Bikes for the World John found a way to share his love of bikes and his captivating smile with the world. 

Taylor Maher

Taylor Maher
August 2016

Last month we skipped honoring a volunteer to say goodbye and good luck to Taylor Jones, BfW Operations Manager since 2014. His departure makes this month's honoree Taylor Maher resonate even more. Taylor Maher joined the team back in April in the middle of our busiest collection season to date...as a volunteer driver. He helped pick up bikes at bikes shops, recycling centers, condos, etc. He helped at collections, picking up bikes and mentoring young volunteers. He even joined us during the hottest month to help load a container for Panama. Cheers to Taylor!

CEB

CEB
June 2016

Three years, eight crews, five containers, 2,263 bikes, and one company: CEB. CEB joins us every year during a company-wide week of service known as Global Impact Week, where employees around the globe lend a hand to their communities.  This year CEB sent crews to our warehouse for four straight days to help us load back to back containers heading to Ghana and El Salvador. We rely on this team every May to knock out our monthly loadings quick and easy so we can get out on our bikes to enjoy Bike Month!

Norm Birzer FV

Norm Birzer
May 2016

What keeps the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek rolling all year collecting record numbers of bikes is a strong team. Norm Birzer is part of that team. Norm helps collect, prep, and load bikes year round that contribute to one of our largest partners to date. Norm also oversaw his Grandson's Eagle Project where they joined forces with the Rotarians and collected an addition 125 bikes in 2016.

Stone Ridge 2016.17 FV

Stone Ridge
April 2016

Bikes for the World relies on Stone Ridge to keep our supply of spare parts flowing to our mechanics abroad. These women join us twice a month to help load containers and strip parts from marginal bikes that can be used to fix our donated bikes. More importantly our younger girls in the warehouse look up to these women as they grab tools and get their hands dirty.

Reed Tech FV

Reed Tech
March 2016

Reed Tech is a corporate volunteer group who has worked with Bikes for the World over the last three years. Their commitment to our mission and availability during the week enables us to take advantage of weekday loadings which frees us up to cover our many collection events during the week. They have loaded containers for Madagascar, Guinea-Bissau and Costa Rica (including our 100k bike!).

Mark WinnRitz FV

Mark Winn-Ritzenberg
February 2016

Mark Winn-Ritzenberg joined us while he was a teacher at Alice Deal Middle School when he brought our idea of collecting bikes to his students as a service project. Long before finding us Mark used to collect used bikes, fix them up, and give them to his ESL students who couldn't afford them. Later he gave them the opportunity to learn how to change the world with a simple wrench and pedal.

FV Marty Reisinger

Marty Reisinger
January 2016

Marty Reisinger has been helping send bikes overseas for over 20 years now. He's managed a dozen collections and collected hundreds of bikes. "I enjoy working with Bikes for the World and collecting bikes because it's pragmatic. Some people have perfectly good bicycles just gathering dust, whereas there are people around the world who can really benefit by having a bike for their basic transportation needs," Marty Reisinger.

Andy Williamson

Andy Williamson
December 2015

Andy Williamson has been making annual visits to our warehouse in Arlington fighting rush hour traffic, driving a truck and trailer, loading up bikes for kids and driving them back to his home in Waldorf. There he and his team work to fix up the bikes and get them ready for a bi-annual give away in Pikeville Kentucky where eager, thankful kids can't wait to get on them and ride. Andy is like the Bike Santa and for the kids in Kentucky, Christmas comes twice a year!

Grovers in NY

The Grovers
November 2015

The Grovers have been with us for the last five years collecting bikes in New Jersey. Their participation in the program helped Pennswood Village reach the 1k Club with us this fall despite not even having a collection point this year. They also travelled to New York to meet Keith and Larry to officially kick off this new location with an initial loading destined for Sierra Leone.

Nathan Cross

Nathan Cross
October 2015

"Bikes with damaged frames, bent forks, severe rust, or other problems make them unsafe or unridable yet still have many usable parts. I break those bikes down and salvage everything possible."

Nathan is a fixture in the back of our warehouse where he works at the bike stands pulling off parts that supply rural bike shops from Africa to El Salvador. This is a valuable service to BfW and many mechanics around the world.

Johnson Lambert FV

Johnson Lambert LLP
September 2015

Johnson Lambert LLP has prepared our audit and 990 forms pro bono for the last three years. Over that time they have helped us transition our financial practices to become more effective and efficient.

Led by BfW volunteer Emily Powell CPA, Johnson Lambert has also sent a team of finanical experts out to our warehouse where we put them to work counting bikes...as they also loaded them onto a container heading to Costa Rica!

FV Bob Evans

Bob Evans
August 2015

Bob is now our official Canadian Bikes for the World representative with one full container loading under his belt. Last month marks our first ever shipment originating out of Canada and destined for partner BEN in South Africa.

While Bob was in the DC area he was an important part of our team whether helping at a loading or collection. He was a fixture in the barn at King Farm and incredibly helpful as a mentor to young volunteers.

Ben Slade FV

Ben Slade
July 2015

Ben is our webmaster who keeps us up and running online. He helped get us started with all things internet based, from our website, to our newsletter, donation forms, even basic email.

In 2005, Ben helped at collections while keeping all the & @ <> characters straight in our computer coding. If you're reading this, he's still keeping those codes working in our favor, and you can see he's still out at collections, only now he's got a pair of sons in tow.

Ann Jackson and Friends

Ann Jackson
June 2015

With eight collections under her belt Ann Jackson knows a thing or two about collecting bikes. She has been with BfW since 2005 and since then has help collect nearly 700 bikes with us.

Partnering with Pedal Pushers bike shop and the neighboring coffee house 'kickstand' The Big Bean, Ann Jackson AND FRIENDS have made a huge success out of this community service project.

 

Medicus

George and Mary Medicus
May 2015

After just two collections with BfW, this dynamic duo has collected 363 bikes and made quite an impact in our organization. They found our mission simple and direct, "just like riding a bike".

They are on their own bikes every day and very aware of the power a bicycle gives someone. "We wanted to help more than just financially; we really wanted physically to put bikes into people's hands," say George and Mary Medicus.

Ken Woodard

Ken Woodard
April 2015

"He brings a keen eye, intelligent insights, an enthusiasm for both bikes as well as tough work..." This is just one of many quotes directly from the students who work closely with Ken every other week in our warehouse. Ken is a mentor to his students at Stone Ridge as well as a role model to many of our volunteers who come through our warehouse. He is also a champion for Bikes for the World spreading our mission and vision to anyone he encounters.

Phil Ruth

Phil Ruth
March 2015

Phil joined us in 2006 and by 2007 he was our representative-at-large in Washington County and Central Maryland. He has represented BfW at collections, mentored volunteers, and hauled bikes back to our warehouse for countless collections over the years. He has also unloaded and loaded thousands of bikes that were donated overseas. He continues to collect bikes at recycling centers, bike shops, police departments, and condo buildings, keeping our volunteers busy year round.

Colvin Run Elementary School

Honoring Teacher Mentors
February 2015

Last month we loaded two containers with the help of three school groups: Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Chesterbrook Elementary, and Eastern High School. When students come to our warehouse for a loading or bike prepping session it's not by accident. There is always a teacher or two behind this event and they are usually giving up a day off in order to be there.

We asked a few teachers why they do it and the answer is always the same, so kids get more out of their service learning hours.

Eli and Peyton

Eli Dross & Peyton Palmore
January 2015

We are kicking the year off with a special edition Featured Volunteer. Eli Dross is our youngest regular volunteer and Peyton Palmore the oldest, so we decided to honor them together. Although they've never met they both have a lot in common...bikes.

Both Eli and Peyton are masters with a pedal wrench. Sometimes both of them need help flipping a bike over, but once they do, there's no stopping them. They both love bikes and they love what we do...and we love them right back!

Brenda Geist

Brenda Geist
December 2014

Brenda has recruited volunteers, promoted BfW, and turned more than her share of pedal wrenches over the years. And she's not afraid to wear white while doing it!

She organizes volunteer days with her Meet Up group, which makes our job easy; we just have to show up and keep them busy. They have helped with about 20% of our container loads in 2014. They have joined us in Arlington, Springfield, and out at Lorton. They have worked through the cold, the heat, and the rust.

Becky Copenhaver

Becky Copenhaver
November 2014

Another long distance dedication. Becky lives in North Carolina and works at Cape Fear Academy. The Beta Club at the school completed their third collection with us this fall.

With their effort, we are able to expand on our vision, making BfW a nationally recognized bike reuse organization. Becky is even speaking with area clubs to possibly expand our collections in this area. Cape Fear often sends many beach cruisers, which are much adored by our Costa Rican partner....where many of the bikes collected this year will be donated.

George Kurz

George Kurz
October 2014

George has been 'holding down' the southeast corner of Pennsylvania for BfW for almost a decade now. George has organized a collection at Pennswood Village and collected almost 1,000 bikes for BfW over the years.

Pennswood Village also teams up with a couple local schools, bringing together young and old, to work together on this collection. The dynamic teamwork not only yields great collection results, but bridges a gap between several generations.

Carol Goodloe

Carol Goodloe
September 2014

Carol has been a fixture around the BfW warehouses since before there was a 'staff'. Now that we are around the corner from her, you can frequently find her wrestling a bike in our Arlington warehouse.

She is a long-time bike commuter and knows her way around a bike. She is one of our most productive bike "preppers" and is quick to help a new volunteer with a tricky problem. She is a treat to have around the shop. Make sure you ask her about her latest bike ride!

Keith Whitaker FV

Keith Whitaker
August 2014

One man may not be able to change the world, but one simple email can certainly get the wheel turning. Keith Whitaker contacted Bikes for the World a few years ago with one simple sentence: I'm interested in helping out.

Today rural Hondurans are getting to work faster, kids are staying in school, and errands are completed in mintues instead of hours. Why? Because Keith Whitaker was interested in helping out.

 

Karen Hendrixson FV

Karen Hendrixson
July 2014

What makes Bikes for the World so great is the amazing network of volunteers that keeps our wheels spinning. Equally important is the network that wheel is built around, our hub, also know as our Board.

Karen Hendrixson is not only part of that hub, she is also an important and active volunteer. She can often be found pushing bikes in our warehouse, spinning off pedals, or mentoring volunteers at a collection. Oh, and she makes some delicious sweet treats that fuel our volunteers.

James Branscome

James Branscome
June 2014

And they say Marylanders won't come across the bridge into Virginia! Jim Branscome joined us in March and became a regular at our King Farm volunteer night on Thursdays. He helped process bikes and totally reorganize the barn.

Then in May, he braved rush hour traffic to come down to our Arlington warehouse where we were receiving all the bikes from the DICK'S promotion -- 5,000 to be exact. Jim helped unload almost every single one. He helped process and stack bikes. He assisted in loading and mentoring students. He is definitely a BfW all-star.

Phil Dondes West Springfield Rotary Club

Philip Dondes
West Springfield Rotary Club
May 2014

When the West Springfield Rotary Club starting collecting bikes for BfW they collected 22 bikes. Under the leadership of Phil Dondes in 2014 they counted 135!

Dondes also coordinated a local donation of bikes to Kristi's Christmas the last two years. With the help of The Bike Lane mechanics, donated bikes were refurbished and donated to to over 30 Fairfax students.

Richard Foot Rotary Club of Carroll Creek

Richard Foot
Rotary Club of Carroll Creek
April 2014

For the last nine years BfW has partnered with the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek collecting over 1,300 bikes. This year, manager Richard Foot keep the success of this collection rolling after taking over as manager two years ago. They doubled the collection this year, collecting 149 bikes.

Bike Shops FV

IBDs- Independent Bicycle Dealers
aka: BfW Bike Shop PartnersMarch 2014

Our bike shop partners keep us rolling all winter long while our collection sites go into hibernation. This year we hosted a first time volunteer night at our Arlington warehouse and the bikes collected from the local bike shops kept our volunteers busy every Wednesday night.

We work with about a dozen shops in MD, VA, and DC year round. These shops also lend a hand to our collection managers to promote events and collect bikes. Some even host collection events right in their own parking lots.

Burgundy Farm Country Day School

Burgundy Farm Country Day School
February 2014

When a school combines a collection with a loading we have no choice but to recognize their efforts! Every year the students at Burgundy do a fall collection with Bikes for the World. This year they even collected over 60 bikes.

Then, to round out the experience, the kids come to the warehouse and actually help us load a container that will be heading overseas. This school in Alexandria has been to all three of our warehouses for a loading over the years.

Scouts Finn

Eagle Scout Candidates
January 2014

Bikes for the World offers unique service projects that many scouts tackle to earn the distinguished rank of Eagle. Our process is tailored to fullfill the requirements laid out in the BSA project workbook.

To date BfW has worked with 63 scouts on their Eagle projects collecting over 5,500 bikes. In 2013 we worked with seven scouts from Kentucky to Maryland.

Rich Robsinson

Rich Robinson
December 2013

Bikes for the World continues to grow and expand as we ship more bikes reaching more lives. We are honored to name Rich Robinson, a long-time volunteer, to our growing board.

Rich picks up bikes, drives trucks, mentors youth, wrenches bikes, and leads loads in our warehouse. Recently he even led our strategic planning session that is helping guide our organization. Come out to our next event and congratulate Rich in person.

Phil Loar FV

Phil Loar
November 2013

Bikes for the World is helping change lives with more than just bikes. We have also shipped sewing machines, crutches, and an occasional computer to selected overseas projects.

BfW volunteer Phil Loar has been working with BfW from the start and recently put us in touch with groups in El Salvador doing amazing work. With his help, BfW has helped bring wider change to El Salvador through more than just bikes.

St Mary of Sorrows

St Mary of Sorrows
October 2013

This month we feature a parish reaching across the altar to embrace all faith groups for one common good. St Mary of Sorrows in Fairfax, Virginia has been collecting bikes with us for 17 years now.

They brought together Catholics, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, and Unitarians to successfully collect about 100 bikes every year. They started off with a bang collecting 265 in 1997!

Carlton Styron

Carlton Styron
September 2013

Most of our featured volunteers you've probably seen out at a collection or loading. But this month's has never even officially worked with Bikes for the World.

Meet Carlton Styron, who contacted us from Lincoln Nebraska, hoping to make a difference through Bikes for the World. It just so happened he was about to relocate in the Philippines. And we were just about to have a container of bikes arrive in Manila in desperate need of repair... Carlton, meet the kids of Baclayon National High School.

Jim Mitchell

Jim Mitchell
August 2013

We are seeing a recurring theme pop up in all our Featured Volunteers and that is that their charitable work nevers starts and ends with Bikes for the World. Jim Mitchell is no exception.

Jim has been a successful collection manager for half a dozen springs, he's a fixture at Volunteer Night, and you can often find him cruising the upper Maryland counties, a trailer-full of bikes in tow. But it's not just the work he does with bikes that impresses us...

Bill Nickel

William Nickel
July 2013

Bikes for the World is the largest bicycle reuse program in the nation and we have the numbers to prove it, thanks to volunteer William Nickel, Excel programming extraordinaire.

That's Bill in the white participating in an American Cancer Society ride. Bill has been with Bikes for the World since before 2005, our official founding date. He has been keeping our official count accurate from the beginning.

George and Hellen

George Tyler and Hellen Gelband
June 2013

Bikes for the World has an active and passionate Board. Many board members have loaded containers, worked collections, and helped promote BfW at various events, in addition to all the tedious organizational work and strategic planning.

George and Hellen have been around since the beginning and nothing is slowing them down. Just this year they have helped at a dozen collections (or more!), helped with the DICK'S unloadings, mentored youth, processed bikes, drove trucks, helped fit kids with helmets and bikes at the Rockville TERRIFIC bike give away...

Otterbein UMC

Otterbein United Methodist Church
May 2013

Otterbein United Methodist Church has been collecting bikes for Bikes for the World since 2005. In fact they have collected a total of 2,230 bicycles (and counting) and 78 sewing machines. Otterbein UM Church collected over 200 bikes in 2013.

Cindy Brown, Director of Programs for Otterbein, says it best, "this partnership creates a unique local opportunity for service and outreach. Outreach on our (parking) lot brings together church neighbors and members."

Stone Ridge Social Action Crew

Stone Ridge Social Action Crew
April 2013

This amazing group of girls joined us in the fall of 2012. They are the second group to join us from Stone Ridge and we were excited to hear that the number was tripling from the year before.

We are naming them our April Featured Volunteer not only for the work they've done loading, processing, and stripping bikes for use overseas, but also for the model and inspiration they bring to our local volunteers...especially other girls and moms who start out saying they will write receipts and then we can barely pry the pedal wrenches out of their hands!

Paul Schulwitz FV

Paul Schulwitz
March 2013

So why are we picking this guy? Do you really need to ask? Paul has been around for years helping BfW with collections, loadings, and seen here offloading the very first of our Dick's Sporting Goods bikes...in the rain!

He also is our BMX aficionado. Paul has been pulling out sweet vintage BMX frames that donors bring to our collections. And as tempting as it may be, all he takes is photos! Paul has been selling select BMX items for us that bring more value to our program financially, sold here than shipped overseas.

Nick Hein Featured Volunteer February 2013

Nick Hein
February 2013

To start this series we are picking Nick Hein, Director (soon to be ex) of Positive Spin in West Virginia. Nick has been involved with BfW for a few years, bringing us excess bikes from his community bike program. It has been a tradition the last few years for him to deliver a truckload of bikes to our MLK Day of Service. He then stays to help load the container.

Nick is moving on the 'left' coast where his bike minded ways will surely be embraced by the masses. He will no doubt be missed in WVA as well as around King Farm in January.

 

 

   

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