Featured Volunteer: David Hickson
David Hickson is another one of those Bikes for the World supporters who goes way back. Like double digits. David manages the collection at his school, Sandy Spring Friends School (SSFS). Over the years the school has contributed many bikes to the program and offered service hours to students. They are not an annual collection site, instead skipping and staggering as the flow of bikes ebbs and flows. But David is constant.
In recent years when the collections have been slower at SSFS, David instead allowed drop offs at his house, storing them until he had a load to drive over to the warehouse. When we found out he had a trailer and was willing to travel, we asked him to pick a few bikes up here and there, for donors who maybe had half a dozen bikes and no way to transport them.
Bikes for the World doesn't have the resources to do individual picks up (right now we only have two full time staff members) so we usually limit pick ups outside our partners to individuals who have a dozen or more bikes (almost none do). Some donors can ask around the neighborhood and end up with that many but often times for anything less we have to rely on a volunteer who is willing to do the pick up for us. David is that guy.
Earlier this year, in between getting his Covid-19 vaccination shots (yay!), David not only stepped up, but negotiated a pick up from Leisure World, where there were over a dozen bikes to be donated. David found out they were on the way to the waste transfer station and he intervened on our behalf. He worked with management to have the bikes released and donated to Bikes for the World AND he picked them up and delivered them to the warehouse!
This delivery came at a key time right before we were planning to ship to Costa Rica. We closed out January with our first shipment going to El Salvador and followed the very next week with a container to MiBici Costa Rica. Both containers, loaded by our own ED Taylor Jones, combined totaled over 1,000 bikes which is about what we have on hand in the warehouse at any given time. So we NEEDED bikes. The impact of David's delivery was immediate...in fact we expect those bikes to be unloaded before the end of this week in Costa Rica!
I don't remember exactly how I first learned of BfW - it grew out of my lifelong passion for bicycles as a transportation and environmental solution (and a great way to travel and get exercise!), and my interest in environmental work generally. I went online and learned about the collection process and said "We could do that at SSFS..." and the rest is history. For me it is a perfect combination of bikes, bicycling, aid to populations in need, and combating climate change, and waste reduction.David Hickson, Sandy Spring Friends School Collection Manager