Featured Volunteer: Bill Regan
Bill Regan has been a regular Thursday fixture around the warehouse for the past year. He came to us at the end of last year and asked how he could get involved. He knew his way around a tool bench and brought with him mechanical experience. This guy's an all around handy-man working on his own bikes, cars, and doing home projects around the house.
We knew immediately that Bill would be a great fit for our growing retiree/I'm-available-during-the-day volunteer sessions. This crew includes about half a dozen guys (yes they are all guys, but not on purpose) who drop in when they can to attack our pile of bikes that need stripped for parts. That's where Bill started but we quickly moved him over to bike building given his experience working on bikes.
Here's the thing about Bill...not only did he start out with us fighting traffic, sometimes in both directions, but he also had to get his Potomac River Passport stamped every time he came! That's right, Bill was making the trip to our Rockville warehouse all the way from Virginia. And to make it more worth his while he often stayed for 5-6 hours at a time.
He was eager to switch over from stripping parts off bikes to building bikes and preparing our nicer bikes for upcoming sales. But he also stepped up and helped wherever we needed him. If we were loading Bill came in early to help in the container. If the junk pile was becoming a mountain he switched gears and stripped parts. If we had a group of students crowding the work benches, he lent a hand mentoring the kids.
And so when we found out all those handyman skills were being utilized by Bill fixing up his house to sell and move we had our fingers crossed that it would be north of the river...and you know what it was! Sadly it was about 500 miles north, much too far for Bill to continue commuting to work for us for free. But leaving the DC beltway behind for a gorgeous 360 degree view of New England mountains is truly a no-brainer. We will definitely miss Bill, and he will also miss us, but we are thankful for the time we shared together changing lives one incomplete bike at a time.
We had a bike with a dynamo light that wasn't working for some reason. Bill searched high and low, brought in a volt meter and checked all the connections, and came to the conclusion the light needed a new bulb. He then went online to see where such a bulb was available and discovered the only place still selling these bulbs was in the UK. He ordered the bulb, refused to be reimbursed, and made the bike complete!Taylor Jones Executive Director
He was just a very pleasant guy to work with and someone that Jon and I could rely on to work on his own and knock out whatever was needed in order to best help us! I miss the guy for sure.