Everyone is welcome to volunteer at the co-op: members and non-members, experienced bicycle mechanics or people who can't fix a flat. We ask only that volunteers observe the core values of Respect, Resourcefulness, and Reciprocity described in our non-discrimination policy. We want people to learn as well as to contribute, and try to reward everyone fairly for their help. Children can volunteer with an adult, as described on our Earn A Bike page. Volunteer groups are welcome, with prior arrangements described on our What we do for organizations page.
How to sign up
To begin volunteering everyone should attend a drop-in orientation session, held from 7 to 8pm every Wednesday. No reservation is needed (but if that time does not work for you please contact us for other arrangements). After that you don't need to schedule any times, the only requirements are that you have at least one hour to spend volunteering each time you visit; that you observe our non-discrimination policy; and not wear open-toed or open-heeled shoes.
If you have specific questions about volunteering, feel free to contact our Volunteer Coordinator: volunteering@OhioCityCycles.org.
When you can volunteer
Volunteers are welcome during any of our retail service times (see the hours to the right), and, if they've completed or are taking our Repair Classes, also on Apprentice Wednesday. Unskilled volunteers (who have not taken or tested out of our Repair Classes) are limited to two hours in one visit, and five hours per week. (We are flexible about this, but have to be sure we don't run out of basic tasks for beginners to do.)
We also need volunteers to help staff off-site events we do, like kids' rodeos at schools and community events, valet bike parking at festivals, and Bicycle Scavenger Hunts . You can sign up to volunteer for specific events on our Calendar by registering on the lower right of this (or any) page.
What volunteers do
We try to find volunteering tasks which are educational, rewarding, and matched to anyone's skill level. Sometimes there is shop "house-keeping" work to be done like cleaning, organizing or moving bikes around, but usually volunteers will work on something bike-related. However, on Saturdays during the summer we are often very busy and can't always spend as much time personally assisting volunteers as we would like. On Apprentice Wednesday students and members (usually) work on bike-repair tasks to practice what they learned in shop class.
If you have particular skills like bookkeeping, graphics or web design, construction or plumbing, please mention that; we can probably use your talents! If you are an experienced bike mechanic, we'll have you fix a bike for sale if you want to test out of the repair classes, and start right in helping others learn to use their bikes.
What volunteers get
For any time spent volunteering, everyone gets $5/hour credit toward purchases of used parts, bikes, Repair Classes, and Members' shop use. Shop credits do not apply to new parts or accessories like locks or lights.
OCBC works by people volunteering; so we try and make it as fun, rewarding, and pleasant as possible. We usually have good food around for volunteers (feel free to bring something to share, or make a donation if you are able). We expect only that everyone practice Respect, Resourcefulness, and Reciprocity, and hope that anyone will learn something that will help them use their bicycle.
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