A great time at Volunteer Appreciation Night
On Tuesday, January 25th, over 70 volunteers and staff came together in the bike shop to celebrate another incredible year in our volunteer program. Together, we filled every square foot â€“ and every spare minute â€“ with conversation and celebration.
Once everyone had loaded up on enormous cookies from Bobâ€™s Red Mill and delicious tamales provided the amazing vendors from Hacienda CDCâ€™s Micro Mercantes program, we kicked things off with a celebration of 2010â€™s successes. The big news from last year was an increase in the dedicated, skilled volunteers who support key areas of our organization. 79 volunteers gave over 30 hours each, and another 26 contributed more than 100 hours each!
We then unveiled our plans to invest in these dedicated volunteers who so deeply invest in us. Staff shared a vision for the new space weâ€™ve just annexed at our shop â€“ once completed, this space will give volunteers the opportunity to build skills (and bikes!) all day, every day. We also announced the new ways weâ€™ll be recognizing our dedicated volunteers, including shop discounts and wrench nights for supporters who give 30 hours in a year.
Next, it was time for the Golden Bike Awards. Staff had prepared by taking the tools of our various trades â€“ some rusty old chains, a camera that hadnâ€™t been used since the dark ages, and every single part from a dusty kids bike â€“ and spray-painting them gold. Amid laughter and smiles, these awards, and along with them some stunningly bad metaphors, were presented to truly outstanding volunteers. Staff honored volunteers who assist with everything from refurbishing Holiday Bike Drive bikes to photographing Bike Camps to facilitating Create a Commuter workshops.
Volunteer Kit Kerkvliet, a linchpin of our reuse and recycling efforts, had this to say about the breadth of our volunteer support. â€œI was impressed by the amount of programs and people I didnâ€™t know. After volunteering for a year, itâ€™s cool to find out thereâ€™s so much more happening.â€
The evening ended with a wonderful surprise, when volunteer Chad Berkley gave a sneak peek showing of â€œRemember Your First Bike,â€ his newly completed documentary about the Holiday Bike Drive. Almost everyone in the room also appeared on the screen, and watching it together, we were all reminded that this is much more than a volunteer program â€“ itâ€™s a community.
After the closing credits, people chatted, snacked and slowly filtered out, carrying with them some awesome raffle prizes â€“ donated by Nutcase, Russell Street BBQ, Nossa Familia Coffee, Portland Playhouse and Good Sport Promotion â€“ and a sense of real excitement for the beginning of another year filled with promise and potential.