Featured Volunteer: Harry Betz
Harry Betz came to us by way of a collection held north of Philadelphia in Newtown, Pennsylvania. That collection occurred at Pennswood Village and was managed by Harry's long time customer George Kurz. George is also a long time supporter of Bikes for the World and he was in Harry's shop, Newtown Bikes, and mentioned the collection. Harry liked the sound of that and wanted to help. He decided to help George collect bikes that year. No one can quite remember the year, maybe 2012 or 2013.
So when George retired his collection at Pennswood Village in 2014, Harry said, wait a minute...can we have it at the shop instead? He knew his customers depended on this annual event and they enjoyed being part of our mission. And the tables turned. Where Harry once collected bikes to donate to George's collection, in 2015, George actually added a few to Harry's inaugural collection at Newtown Bikes instead. To our neighboring supporters/donors, the location changed, but the bike collecting didn't miss a pedal stroke.
Harry has been collecting bikes ever since. We haven't had an official bike collection in Newtown in the last couple years, but we are still getting bikes, and visits from Harry! He now collects bikes year round and rents a truck to drive them down to us when he has a decent supply of them. He then hops on his bike, heads the train station, and rides the rails home.
It's great to see this partnership morph and continue. When George stepped down from the collection at Pennswood Village their running total seemed to halt at 955 bikes. So close to our 1k Club and yet 45 bikes short. If you are counting, and you know we are, we actually consider this handing of the baton a collection continuation...meaning Harry's continuing this annual collection has carried Newtown over the 1,000 bike threshold...ensuring their spot in our elite 1k Club!
I'm proud to continue the good deed that George has started in Newtown and hope to continue as long as I can. My customers that donate bikes also comment how good it is that we do this and are happy to contribute.Harry Betz, owner Newtown Bikes