Curious Challenge, Rich Reward—What Riding a Bike Can Do For Your Community
Attendees at Printing Hub 2012 found that to be true when they were surprised with a curious challenge. Divvied up into random teams—most met only after the challenge began—participants were asked to assemble a child’s bike as quickly as possible. Training wheels and all.
The unwitting philanthropists started by assembling the frame, then moved on to attaching spoked tires and fastening a small seat to the structure. They worked with a sense of urgency and importance despite not knowing the reason.
After assembling the bicycles, three members of each team rode their pint-sized productions around a figure-eight shaped track. Energy was high—people cheered for their teammates and roared as their knees interfered with low-lying handlebars and bumped them off track.
After the winning team rolled their wobbly way through the finish line, the victors were rewarded with drinks at the cocktail hour that followed. But more important than that measly prize was an announcement about where their just-built bikes were headed.
Every participant assembled a bicycle that was donated to Inter-Faith Community Services, a Colorado nonprofit that provides basic human services and enrichment programs to low-income people. One of the organization’s main goals is preventing homelessness, which they address with financial assistance and transitional or off-site housing. The nonprofit also serves community members with a food bank, a clothing bank and even a career center.
As for the bicycles, each will go to a child whose family enjoys the help of Inter-Faith Community Services.
Every bike was a rolling red and black beacon promising health and a little springtime freedom. And young people who benefit from Inter-Faith Community Services are helped with more than bikes. The organization also collects school supplies and funds school lunches.
So, no, we won’t dare write that dreaded cliché, that “everyone was a winner” the afternoon we built bicycles for Inter-Faith Community Services—training wheels and all. But we’re tempted. And you can read between the lines.
How does your printing company use its team and resources to help people in your community?