3 minutes reading time (533 words)

Tires, Tykes, and Bikes

It's never too early to learn how to ride a bike...or the importance of donating one. The kids above may not be riding on two wheels yet, but once they do, they will outgrow their bikes before you can spell Motobecane. We think now is the perfect time to tell them about Bikes for the World. And their school agreed.

They are the Junior Kindergarten (JK) class at Flint Hill School in Oakton, VA. If you are not already doing so, you may want to sit down- this makes them the Class of 2032! Take a look at them, they are one of the reasons our program is so important. Recycle. Reuse. Repeat. 

The JK students began their path to recycling just outside their classrooms. A few weeks ago they took a walk around their campus and noticed a fair amount of litter on the ground. They noted that littering does not fall within the core value of respect for the world and began picking up everything from food wrappers to reusable water bottles.

Next, they visited the I-95 Landfill Complex in Lorton to learn what happens to trash and the impact it has on our environment. They were impressed to learn about all the ways Fairfax County is reducing, reusing, and recycling to eliminate waste. And they couldn't help but notice a big pile of bikes set aside waiting for us. This was when they learned about Bikes for the World.

Then, last month, the JK Class came to our warehouse to see what happens to those bikes once they leave Lorton. As luck would have it, we happened to have a container parked at the dock that day so the kids got see exactly how we prep the bikes and load them for a shipment.

We were a little concerned about five year olds moving bikes that towered above them, but not enough to keep them from helping! We had plenty of BfW mentors and Flint Hill parents on hand to assist. We also had them working as a team and moving smaller bikes and individual wheels. They did great!

They also learned how to remove pedals and use adjustable wrenches on the bikes. It was a fun field trip for them...and us! We were very impressed how well the kids worked together and how excited they were to be involved. They learned a lot about our program, recycling, and how they could help change lives all around the world.

When they got back to school, their teacher Mrs. Thomas read The Red Bicycle where they learned even more about the importance one bicycle can make in a community. They asked how they could do more to help and came up with the idea to host a bike collection. They wrote their principal a letter asking for permission to collect bikes at Flint Hill and of course she said yes! We look forward to working with these students again next month...right before Earth Day, to help them collect and donate bikes to the program!

Check our calendar to find this collection along with many others this spring, so you can join the effort and donate your old bike to make a difference!

UPDATE: Janet's Story
Featured Volunteer: Harry Betz