Are you looking for a meaningful, all-ages, hands-on volunteer opportunity to commemorate the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this Monday? Then we are happy to say OCBC has an easy, sit-down activity for you that is also educational — and makes a great social pastime: just add your own guests!

Most years, OCBC has held special, “done in a day” events with large groups of volunteers working together in the shop on MLK day. This year, we are using this occasion to take our first public-participation step toward restarting our long list of volunteer tasks, with a covid-safe, no-contact system.

We are starting with a simple but important part of our bike-refurbishing operations — salvaging small parts and fasteners from components like brake levers and calipers; and gear shifters and derailers. This work enables us to replace just the smallest parts when they are missing, worn, or broken, which often can be the most resourceful way to get a bike back on the road; like the old saying, “for want of a nail…“. But there are lots of different types, so we need lots of help to “harvest” them all from their otherwise-unusable components — and sort them into categories to make it easy to find just the right one for each job.

So if you have Monday off (or know someone who does) just reply to this email with your preferred time on Monday 1/18 between 10am and 3pm to pick up a bucket of parts, and all the tools, supplies, and instructions you’ll need for about two (adult) person-hours of disassembling and sorting (which you can do anytime over the next week or so, and bring back at your convenience).

Not only will you help OCBC be more resourceful fixing bikes, you’ll learn a lot about using tools and how different kinds of parts work together, and you’ll be helping us make this job easier for all kinds of people to do in the future (we’ll send you a form to tell us what you liked doing, what didn’t work so well, and when you want to drop the stuff back off with us).

Whether you can help or not, we hope you have a peaceful and uplifting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day!