Bikes for the World Comes to PB!


Fanta Dabo, Staff Writer

Yet again, Paint Branch has found a way to give a helping hand to those in need – this time, through collecting and donating bikes to provide a source of transportation in countries that are shy of this basic, yet crucial need.

On Saturday, November 13th at Paint Branch, Principal Dr. Mirshah and ten student volunteers hosted a collection event in collaboration with Bikes for the World, an organization designed to make use of unwanted bicycles and bicycle parts. According to the organization’s website, bikes and bike parts are distributed to various locations across the world, something they have already done in twenty-nine countries. 

On the day of the collection event, after arriving at 10 AM, volunteers began to dismantle the bikes into single parts to fit into boxes for shipment. Along with the physically tiring aspect of this labor, there were also other challenges the volunteers faced, according to Dr. Mirshah, who singled out the weather as one of them. “It was not good weather, so we had to collect bikes in the rain, cold, and the wind because it was an outdoor activity,” she noted.

Spreading the word to the community was not an easy task either. This impacted the overall collection, as word of mouth was what they relied on most to inform people of the bike donation. Administration was able to communicate the donation through emails, Facebook, and multiple messages to parents and families at PB. While there were challenges during the process, it was worth the strong final turnout, as the group was able to collect 108 bikes as well as 390 dollars in cash donations.

It is oftentimes easy to take the resources one has for granted. Giving back to the community can be a way to remember that even the smallest actions can make the biggest difference in someone’s life. When asked what she hopes people will take away from this experience, Dr. Mirshah replied sincerely, “No matter what you have, or what you think you don’t have, you can always help others.” To one person, riding a bike is simply a fun activity to do at the park, while for someone in Barbados or Costa Rica – two countries that the organization has donated to – it might be the only source of transportation to get to school or work, rather than to walk several miles in substandard conditions.

Though new to Paint Branch, it may not be the last time Bikes for the World makes an appearance here. With her passion for giving back and serving her community, Dr. Mirshah discloses that she would absolutely have it back at Paint Branch, mentioning, “I am discussing with Bikes for the World, maybe a second donation in the spring or next fall, but I would definitely do it again.”