Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's All Starting To Come Together....

Which, of course is much better than it all coming apart...

Back in 2010, I and a group of my friends got involved with the non-profit group TurningWheels for Kids. Our involvement was that on a Saturday, at the beginning of December, we put together a team, head down to San Jose and helped them assemble bikes which they in turn gave to charities for kids at Christmas.  It's their Annual Big Bike Build....and it's an awesome event where over 900 volunteers got together for a day to assemble over 2000 bikes!

It was a really rewarding and an incredible experience combining my passion for bikes and my desire to give something back. I'm a firm believer in the bible verse that states, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded". And, while I know that times are tough and we're all working harder and harder to make ends meet, I still hold to the fact that I live in the greatest nation in the world, have been blessed abundantly and am far better off than many in my community and am richer than most of the world's population.

With this in mind, I began a dialogue with Sue, the founder of TurningWheels for Kids about how to expand upon their one day Bike Build and what I could do to get involved a little deeper.  But, as is usually the case, life got busy, the holiday's passed by and the conversation died. Then, after the 2011 Bike Build, and additional conversations with Sue, she sent me an email in January telling me there were others in my area that wanted to go deeper....and would we like to get together to meet.

And so it began....We launched the TurningWheels for Kids Tri-Valley Chapter at the end of January and here we are, 11 months and many hours later getting ready to host the First Annual TurningWheels for Kids Tri-Valley Bike Build.  Over the past months we've put together an amazing group of volunteers who, in turn have; raised almost $40,000.00, purchased 493 bicycles, helmets and locks, found a build location, arranged raffle prizes, set up breakfast and lunch, arranged for pickup and delivery of all 493 bikes, sought out, vetted and established relationships with 9 different charities, and found and organized almost 150 volunteers to help pull it all together. (pretty sure there are at least a thousand other tasks I've forgotten)

The really amazing thing, is that they've done all this with a smile on their face and I have to admit, it's really been a joy. Sure it's stressful at times and I do wake up in the middle of the night thinking of things that need to be done, but for the most part, this has been one of the most fulfilling projects I've ever been involved in.

So, for the next few days I'll continue to stress and worry about a bazillion little details, because that's just what I do, but come Saturday I'm sure everything will work out just fine and I along with 150 of my new friends will assmble and donate 493 bicycles to be given to kids at Christmas.....and we all know, there's pretty much nothing better than a new bike at Christmas. (too bad my wife doesn't read my blog)

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