Meet Carlton Styron. Back in December of 2012 Carlton sent us an email:
Hello, My Name is Carlton Styron and I reside in Lincoln, Nebraska. As I will be moving soon to the Philippines, I had the notion to find a worthy and helpful cause to participate in while there, and found your website. I am a huge bike lover and mechanic. Do you need help with anything in the Philippines?
Once bikes arrive in Manila, Joel faces the daunting task of not just unloading five hundred plus bikes, but reassembling and fixing almost all of them. Donated bikes are discarded for a reason, most often, they need repaired. Here's where Carlton comes in.
Recently, a dedicated crew of Pinoy volunteers gathered together to turn these bikes from Bikes for the World back into valuable, usable bikes that will help keep kids in school in remote areas of the Philippines. These bikes were donated by individuals in the Northern Virginia area as well as from the national retail chain DICK'S Sporting Goods.
"First we go through all the bikes, set the handle bars, install the pedals and do minor repairs. An assessment is taken of each bike to know of any other problems, then the more experienced mechanics take care of the rest. It works smooth as silk," Carlton Styron
This blue bike you see him with here came to us through a special donor from New Jersey who goes by the name Plong-Plong. Plong is originally from the neighboring town where our bikes were first donated. He knows the terrain well that these students navigate just to get to school. He contacted Bikes for the World desperately wanting to help. The handful of bikes he donated are among this shipment being sent to the second school district in Bohol.
Recently Carlton had the opportunity to travel to the island of Bohol and meet the kids he was helping in that warehouse in Manila. Putting a face to a frame really puts this kind of work in perspective.
Leila Ungab is one of the new beneficiaries in the Bikes for the Philippines education program. Carlton is the mechanic who revived her donated bike that will help get her to and from school quickly and safely.
While in Baclayon, Carlton met with the teachers behind the success of this program. He saw first-hand how valuable these bikes are to the student residents who need them to get to school on time. He also got share some of his bike knowledge with the young budding mechanics. All students who receive a bike are required to know certain maintenance techniques to keep the bike in good standing.
When Carlton began with this organization what he found was a well organized program with an amazing leader. "Joel is the perfect person to head this up. He has a big heart for the children," Carlton recently reported to us via email. What he also found, was a rewarding volunteer experience that was making a difference in a community half a world away from his previous home.
You can help support this Bikes for Education initiative by supporting Bikes for the World right here at home. You can donate a bike, your time, or financially to help bring a bike to someone who will use it to make a positive impact on his or her life. Bike accessories and new and used parts are a big part of what keeps this program sustainable. Your donation will help us provide used bikes, training, or tools to mechanics in need. DONATE TODAY.