3 minutes reading time (614 words)

Featured Volunteer: Pamela McCormick

Don't let the photo fool you, Pamela is not buried in bikes; she's in full control. Pamela McCormick is part of the Cumberland Area Bikes for the World...yes there is such a thing! To say it's just an annual collection is an incredible understatement; the Cumberland Area BfW is powered by the Western Maryland Wheelmen, an active, dedicated crew. It takes a year-long commitment to pull off what they do, and Pamela is just one cog in the gears...but she's a powerful cog.

Pamela began volunteering at the Cumberland area collection in 2016. Since we like to measure 'time' in 'bikes' we would prefer to say that Pamela has been around long that she could be inducted into our Personal 1k Club, that is IF we had one. Again, success cannot be measured by one person alone, but since Pamela came on board with the Cumberland area event, the club has collected 1,000 bikes. To date, that number of bikes donated stands at 2,277. 

And it's because of the effort of the many folks involved and their commitment to our mission that they continue to hold successful events year after year. Just after Pamela started at the collection, she joined the planning committee, which meets over the winter to start the wheels turning. She is known and well liked in town and she used those connections to help advertise the event this year in numerous businesses in town. If you saw it in the paper, it's Pamela you would have been contacting with questions.

She's willing to do it all: pick up bikes, coordinate volunteers to pick up bikes, work on bikes, load and unload bikes!

Kate Kidwell, Co-Coordinator and fellow committee member

In 2020, when the police wanted their evidence locker (read: abandoned bikes) emptied ASAP, Pamela jumped to suggest renting a truck and co-piloting a trip to Bikes for the World HQ. Pamela realized, especially during the pandemic, that the bike collection is not a one day job. And sometimes you have to go above and beyond to make change happen.

Because of Covid precautions, Cumberland sat the last two years out, not hosting their annual event at Canal Place. That doesn't mean they didn't collect and donate bikes however. During those 'off' years, they still managed to add 159 bikes to our program. It's volunteers like Pamela, that make this kind of effort possible. She hopped in and helped move bikes into storage, she got them ready for shipping and helped load them onto trucks. When we needed more bikes to fill our containers, Cumberland stepped in to make our shipments possible.

This spring we were back out at Canal Place and Pamela was there sweating with the rest of us. We didn't throw a thermometer on the pavement, but chances of it topping 100 degrees were pretty good. The assembly line of volunteer processors worked efficiently to move through the 222 bikes donated...a nearly record year. 2022 just nudged out a previous collection by two bikes to become the second biggest collection on record in Cumberland. Since current collection manager, Valerie Van Hollen just celebrated her 20th year collecting bikes with us, that's a pretty impressive stat.

Pamela is fun, enthusiastic, generous, considerate, and hardworking. She has an uncanny way of anticipating what someone needs. She is someone who follows through with that she chooses to do, especially for other people. Pamela had a full and challenging career in the United States Public Heath Services, and now retired, she continues to put her values into practice for Bikes for the World.

Said, everyone who works on the project!
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