Cleaning their bikes.
Dear Friends of our Bikes for Girls Program,
I would like you to meet Jane and Stephen, two avid bicyclists and new Rock-Paper-Scissor's volunteers. In 2013-2014 the couple decided to make a change in their lives and left their corporate jobs to take a trip around the world on their bikes. Over 18 months they traveled through 22 countries, Vietnam being one of them. Of all the countries they traveled to, they became very fond of Vietnam and its people, especially the children who would ride behind them on their beat up old bikes when they rode through the villages. Unfortunately when they returned home after the trip, Stephen’s beloved bike was stolen in Los Angeles. As sad as it was for him to lose the bike that he had circled the world on, Stephen did something out of the ordinary, and turned the experience into something joyous. When Stephen’s friends and followers found out that his bike had been stolen, they offered to buy him a new bike, but this is how Stephen responded:
“If you have the money to help me, a fairly privileged Westerner, you have the money to help someone with a greater need, and I encourage you to do that. If my bike theft can help a group of young girls in Vietnam, then it makes the heartache worthwhile.”
With this he started a fundraiser and ended up raising enough money to buy 30 new bikes for girls. We were so grateful to Stephen, he had given away the new bike that he would have received from friends, selflessly to the girls that we support in Vietnam.
This summer we were lucky enough to have Jane and Stephen join us as volunteers in Vietnam. Stephen is now a certified yoga instructor and teaches in studios all over the world, and Jane is a freelance writer and runs their online consulting business called My Five Acres where she helps people lead adventurous lives. During the summer they had been working in Southeast Asia, and could easily join our group. Over the past year, they had contacted me about helping out with our Bikes for Girls program in any way that they could, so I introduced them to the idea of helping us develop our bike repair and maintenance program.
This summer thanks to Jane and Stephen, who developed the program materials and trained our staff, we have started to incorporate a simple bike maintenance and care training program for the girls when they receive their new bikes. This includes things like how to clean your bike, how often, where to keep your bike to reduce rust, adjusting the seat and handlebars for a proper fit, and how to check air and pump up the tires. Jane and Stephen personally piloted the new program, training 50 girls in July. We have since donated 60 bikes and our staff in Vietnam has trained all 60 girls.
We are so thankful to Jane and Stephen and grateful to be able to make this connection for them back in Vietnam.
Thank you all for being a part of this program—thanks to you we have given 352 bikes so far this year and provided 110 girls bike maintenance training!
PS-Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more about volunteering, or helping us in any way.
Jane and Stephen teaching bike maintenance
Bike maintenance lessons
Bike maintenance training for the girls
Jane and Stephen sharing their bike knowledge
A new bike