Featured Volunteer: Carol Parker
Carol Parker: cyclist, supporter, wrencher, promoter, recruiter, and envelope stuffer....need we say more? Yep, now that I see the photos side by side this is absolutely Peter and Carol. This month's featured volunteer is Carol Parker, but it's hard to talk about her (and bikes) without at least mentioning her husband Peter Harnik. One has to wonder how they met...they are lifelong cyclists, activists, environmentalists...truth be told: your typical open-minded roll model bad @sses.
Here's that statement you often find in our featured volunteer piece...Carol's been involved with Bikes for the World longer than any of the current staff members. Founder Keith Oberg pulled them into the fold and we're so lucky they never left! And while we don't see her often enough, she is always ready to step in and step up to any task we need help completing. As long as it's not an election year. So yeah, we were lucky to grab her for the annual E-Care event in Arlington this fall.
Not only did she come out to lend a hand at the Arlington collection this year, but she recruited volunteers to help! Now that's dedication....unless she was thinking ahead and brought her own 'muscle'...still, good thinking Carol. She's not one to shy away from a pedal wrench or grease but those persnickety rusty pedals or handlebars...she tends to save them for an expert...always thinking.
But it is those few and far between non-grease volunteer opportunities where we turn to Carol first. Whether it's talking up Bikes for the World at holiday gift fair event or stuffing envelopes for our end of the year mailing, Carol is always fun company to be around. She loves Bikes for the World, what we do and what we stand for and it comes across whenever she is talking to someone about us.
So how did she come to Bikes for the World? Peter of course. Peter Harnik has been involved in the bicycling movement for nearly as long as he's been on two wheels. He grew up in NYC and immediately recognized the challenges many cyclists face against traffic. After moving to DC, he worked with WABA (DC's local bike advocacy group) to make cycling more accessible and safe in the city. Then he moved on to help co-found the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
For those of you who enjoy a nice quiet roll on a rural path, you might have Peter to thank. If you've always wondered how that rail to trail movement happened, you can actually check out Peter's latest book From Rails To Trails. "From Rails to Trails is the fascinating tale of the rails-to-trails movement as well as a consideration of what the continued creation of rail-trails means for the future of Americans' health, nonmotorized transportation networks, and communities across the country."
See, it's hard to mention Carol without including Peter...and their love of what we do. They are truly trailblazers who fight to bring amazing riding opportunities for our families here at home and through their work and support of Bikes for the World they are also helping to provide bikes and opportunities around the world!
Bikes for the World really makes a huge difference in people's lives. By sending bikes to developing countries that may go unused in this country, we can give people life-changing access to markets, school and medical care! We love Bikes for the World! Thank you for all the wonderful work you do!Carol Parker