Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Featured Volunteer: The Youngest and Oldest
One of them loves SpongeBob and the other PBS NewsHour. One likes Dumb and Dumber To and the other, the Sound of Music. One probably falls asleep by nine and the other begs to stay up past it. If you added Taylor and Yvette's ages together you still wouldn't span the years between them.
Peyton came to us this fall and asked if we had anything he could work on...he had mad handyman skills, so we knew he knew his way around a toolbox. We invited him to the warehouse and he's been coming most Thursdays since.
Eli's mom approached us early in 2014 and asked if we'd let a pre-teen volunteer with us. Most programs require students be at least 14...and we are no exception. But we did make an exception for Eli...as long as a parent came with him we said, sure, join us at REI and we'll see how he does at the collection.
Since we lost King Farm it's been harder for Eli to join us at volunteer events but he's already planning for the next REI collection and he's been down to Arlington to help at the warehouse more than once.
After some time away from volunteering, Eli and his dad came to put in some hours at the warehouse in Arlington. We prepared to come over and introduce processing to Dad as well as give young Eli a refresher. No need. Eli immediately grabbed bike tools and starting teaching his dad how to remove the pedals.
You might even catch him singing to a song or two: "I'll be down to get you in a taxi honey/ You'd better be ready around half past eight/ Ah baby don't be late I want to be there when the band starts honey," one of his favorites.
Turns out Eli may also have an old soul, diving into some new old classics to find his favorite song, Eye of the Tiger. Or, like a lot of younger volunteers who seem to know Yvette's music...it's probably been used in a recent movie or cartoon like Turbo. Which by the way, does have a great soundtrack.
Peyton grew up in Japan, is still a professional handyman who can fix just about anything, and he holds a PhD in Theology.
He now volunteers at Meals on Wheels, HOPE, and Doorways in Arlington. He was a missionary in Japan for years after the war, will be quick to show you the Jitterbug, or share a story about how he rode bikes in Japan that were way too big for him.
Who knows what path Eli will take over the years. For now Eli is a 7th grader at Frost Middle School. If you find yourself in the warehouse with this guy, make it your mission to find out more about him. Who is Eli's favorite wrestler? And see if he prefers Turbo or Rocky.
UPDATE: Bikes for the World was sad to learn that Peyton Palmore passed away about a week after this article posted. He will be sorely missed around our warehouse on Thursday nights. His family tells us he loved working with Bikes for the World and believed strongly in our mission. We are proud to have worked with Peyton.