Bikes for the World

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How Can I Help?

What's the connection between Lincoln, Nebraska and Baclayon National High School in Bohol, Philippines? The answer is next month's Featured Volunteer!

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?

 It was that simple question in nothing more than an introductory email to Bikes for the World that got the wheel turning. We put Carlton in touch with Bikes for the Philippines Director Joel Uichico who was at that moment awaiting the arrival of a second container of bikes from Bikes for the World.

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.

Carlton was one of the many volunteers who assessed and fixed  the bikes that would be donated to the students in Bohol and Cebu. He quickly noticed the need for spare parts, new and used, when trying to give these old bikes a new life. 

"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.

Carlton Styron is an individual example of the global reach of this program. Carlton's wife was from the Philippines and he wanted to experience Philippine life. He also loved bikes and wanted to give something back during his stay. He reached out to Bikes for the World to make a difference in his new home in the Philippines before he even left Nebraska. We introduced him to the perfect meld: Bikes for the Philippines.

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.

1 comment:

  1. This is a good mission to help students who walk miles and miles just to attend school. On the other hand, it promotes good health and it is environmental friendly. Mr Carlton Styron has done amazing job.


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