With kids now teenage and definitely not requiring lots of entertainment from Mum and Dad, fixing up some bikes in the garage in spare time to raise money for Kathryn’s gap year was a bit of fun.
With her funding target met, the word had spread quite wide and people didn’t want to stop bringing bikes. There were a couple of local charities needing fundraising help and so the proceeds now went to these (www.aidtoeasterneurope.co.uk and www.neemacrafts.com) A few were so inspired by how well it had worked that they canvassed everyone they knew (and possibly even searched their sheds!) Lots of bikes came in. The Police Bumblebee website ran into difficulties and their pound started to overflow.
Luckily, a lovely lady from church thought of us and 40 rusty bikes came home. Luckily this wasn’t all at once! The church then held an eco publicity event to launch the new solar panels and John had a bike sale there. At the next stand was the company who manage the waste recycling sites across the county and they offered bikes from the tip. The word kept spreading and the scale kept growing.
The project was now pretty organised and required several friends garages to store bikes! In the spring, stocks of bikes started to drop and a friend spotted bikes going cheap in the local sale room and suggested we bid £5 each and see what happened. We won 7 bikes. Almost immediately afterwards we were offered a share of bikes from Rotary’s local appeal and we were deluged with more bikes via word of mouth. Garages seriously overflowed.
We realised that was a hint – this is God’s project and he is providing the bikes. No money required! There hasn’t been any spare space since that point.