|The Peak bike collection May 2016|
Combining bikes collected last year at Cape Fear Academy on the coast, this past weekend's collection brings our total in Charleston to over a half a container's worth. Fingers crossed, we will be able to load our first full container of bikes from this warehouse in South Carolina by the end of the year.
|Cape Fear Academy 2015 collection|
After securing the warehouse location, Paul shifted gears to recruit area managers to host bike collections much like we do in the DC area. He has connected with several Rotary Clubs and faith communities to start the dialogue on the next steps.
Meanwhile, we helped hook him up with long time partner Cape Fear Academy who used to collect bikes and drive them all the way up to us in DC (or Richmond, where we met them to take the truck the rest of the way). Diverting these bikes down the coast generated some excitement over the Carolina effort that would keep donated bikes on the coast so they could load and ship a container from their area. Now all Paul needed was more bikes.
|Courtesy The Peak|
Meanwhile Pastor Kyle really wanted to mobilize his bike ministry to do even more than they already were. The Peak's bike ministry accepts bike donations throughout the year which they fix up to give back to their community. In total, The Peak refurbishes and redistributes over 100 bikes a year (in addition to all the other great work the congregation does).
|Courtesy The Bicycle Man|
Fast forward to April 2016, when Kyle revisited his dream of collecting bikes to send around the world. He again contacted Bikes for the World and the stars aligned. With a little planning and coordination, BfW Director Keith Oberg worked with Paul Keefer, who was itching to really get this Carolina effort going. He agreed to drive all the way up to Apex NC, collecting bikes along the way to help support Kyle and The Peak.
|Paul Keefer, Ann Mathis, Kyle Meier|
The Peak joined some long running BfW partners as well as a few brand new ones from NC to Cumberland MD in what became our biggest collection weekend of the year. Despite the rain in our area, we collected over 700 donated bikes from half a dozen sites in just two days. This past weekend beat our previous biggest weekend, April 30, by over 50 bikes.