Our second annual Bikes For The World collection was a huge success hauling in 185 bikes.  Given the pandemic, I really wasn’t sure what to expect this year.  Last year, we received 80 bikes from the facilities department at Princeton University but, due to the pandemic, they didn’t have any for this year so I was hoping we would be able to hit the 100 bike mark.  We shattered that by mid-morning.  A huge thank you to everyone who helped out at the event.  It was a lot of hard work, but it went smoother than last year.  Even Tony Parziale injured himself less this year than last year!
I’ve been involved with Bikes For the World and its predecessor organization since the end of last century and have seen how it can take root within organizations.  I introduced Bikes For the World to my old Rotary club in Maryland in 2005 and they have been doing annual collections ever since.  It took a few years to get the event established and for the club to really get behind it.  But, incrementally, the Carroll Creek Rotary would add ideas to expand the program from just a single day collection and turn it into a large project spanning the entire year generating significant public relations in the community.
The first step was creating a network of satellite collection partners like the local community college, police departments,  and others who collected bikes during the year and then bought them to the official BfW collection.  By engaging these partners, the club built broader awareness and enlisted champions of Bikes For The World.  Another major step in their success was finding a year round storage location where they could put bikes either until the next collection or, if there were many, have BfW come by and pick them up with their truck.  And the latest step, aided by Bikes For the World, was their partnering directly with the Rotary Club of Empangeni in South Africa.
The steps taken above were not all done in a single year.  With our relationship with Princeton University and Montgomery Twp, we’ve already established some key networks.  I think for next year we can do some more in this area by reaching out to neighboring towns to expand our footprint.
Once again, thanks to everyone who pitched in and helped make this event successful and positioning it for future growth.
Rotarically Yours,
Zoltan Nagy
Rotary Club of Montgomery/Rocky Hill (NJ)