Featured Volunteer: Gordon Johnson
Gordon Johnson coasted into our coveted 1k Club as of last year, but we still haven't gotten around to properly inducting him yet! And depending on whether you use 'new' math or 'old' numbers this honor is well overdue. First, let's look at the 'new math'. Gordon has been a collection manager at Trinity United Methodist Church in Alexandria since Bikes for the World formed in 2005. Since that time Trinity, under Gordon's leadership, has collected 1,137 bikes for our program.
We had already decided to honor Gordon this month (and hadn't told him) even before his annual collection. But in case we had any doubts about his awesomeness, Gordon's crew went ahead and outdid themselves this year, by hosting their biggest collection to date (again using this 'new math' method). This year, Trinity netted 127 bikes, a personal best. For the last few years Trinity has been holding steady, averaging about 65 bikes a collection. Then last year they surged over 100 bikes. We thought it was a fluke, but NO, they did it again this year!
Back in 2007 they were also over 100 bikes, but this year wins the gold. This year, Gordon identified a local residential building who had some abandoned bikes to unload. He contacted us mid-week and we arranged to have Keith Oberg pick those up the same day to add to the total. This pushed them over that previous record.
But what is this talk about 'old numbers'? Yeah, this is where Keith's history blurs and contorts our tallies. And it's not inaccuracies or fuzzy math...it's just that some of our longest running collections have stretched beyond Bikes for the World . Gordon came on with Keith long before Keith formed Bikes for the World. According to those early records, Keith reports that Trinity UM Church came on board with him in 1997. And Gordon took the reins two years later, marking this as his 20th anniversary year with us! Keith also added up those early numbers and claims another 1,000 bikes came in through this effort even before BfW was born.
Gordon is one of the nicest people I know, consistently polite and transparent, optimistic and realistic at the same time. He has been a pleasure to work with at every step of the way. Several people over the years have provided me with the empathy and moral and emotional support to establish and continue BfW -- Gordon is one of those champions.Keith Oberg, Founder and Executive Director BfW 2005-2018