John Marcuse, who wrenches countless kids bikes at OCBC, attended the past few Volunteer Advisory Committee meetings. Although he may not be very vocal, his words are powerful. Enthusiasm for the organization, the community and bicycles glimmers like the kids bikes on the retail floor.

John consented to us sharing his perspective with the larger organization. If you would like to join John, he is tirelessly in the shop. Yet, he also supports the organization’s vision at the VAC meetings, every other Wednesday. Next meeting on September 18th, we will be discussing the strategic planning. Like John, share your input on the mission and vision as we work toward the future of the organization.

‘I had some thoughts about goals for the Advisory Committee and if I don’t write them down, they’ll slip through this steel colander of a brain I seem to have.  In a nutshell, I believe others can figure out what volunteers can  do for OCBC, this committee should be defining and possibly extending what we do for volunteers.

 Everything all of us do, we subconsciously calculate a cost/benefit ratio.  There’s no one thing that’s valuable to everyone.  It may be educational, or social, or a no cash bike, or even the food that often can be found in the kitchen.  But if we hope a volunteer will come back, we have to offer a bargain that individuals see value in.  I know OCBC offers many things, but so many of them are hidden; like that perfect bicycle you’re looking for, obscured by a thick layer of grime, flat tires and broken parts.  The job of this committee should be helping our volunteers see through the dirt, to find their hidden gem.

 So, for starts you ask: “John, what makes you keep coming back?”  Perhaps I pick out a bike to work on, maybe it’s purple with metallic sparkles hidden under the dirt.  If I can make it shine, it’ll make some little girl’s day.  But once she gets it home, she’ll discover that how far this bike can take her is only limited by how much effort she puts into the peddles.  She’ll take this lesson into other opportunities in her life, and she’ll grow up to make a real difference in this world.  And it’s all because I set her bike up right.

 “Not likely” you say?  But is it possible, even a little?  That’s all I need.

We’ll talk another day,

John Marcuse’

I agree, some steel colander of a brain that guy has.