Happy 8th Anniversary! Eight years ago today, I answered a simple call by Tom Lyda for used bikes for a family under the loving care of Westside Homeless Partnership (WHP). I sent out an email to 40 of my friends downtown and in the neighborhood, and 12 bikes showed up on my doorstop. Fixed five of them and delivered to WHP on December 21, 2009.
Then the magic happened. I got an unsolicited story about where two of the bikes went. Two adult MTBs went to a husband and wife in the care of WHP. They helped the wife get a job, but her shift started at 5:30am, she lived 4.5 miles away, and it took her 45min either by bus (with two transfers), or walking (which is not a good thing to do at 4:30am in the morning). She was regularly late, and in danger of loosing her job. The bike allowed her to be on time, and provide for her family.
I sent that story back to the same 40 people, and 12 more bikes showed up. And it went on from there.
Eight years later, we are blessed to have many ministry partners helping to address the social justice issue of transportation for low income families. We have four "spokes" now - Houston, Oklahoma City, Baton Rogue and Houston Heights, and to date, have put back in service over 7,000 bikes, recycled over 20,000 lbs of metal, taught high school basic bicycle maintenance, and showed hundreds the inextricable link between their faith and the work they do daily.
A special thank you to those that have been there from the beginning, including Rev. Tom Lyda, Rev. John Malget, Jeff Stones, Jay Barr, Mike Scott, my loving wife, Kristin Finklea, Jim Osbon, Chris Holmes, and a special thank you to my friend and mentor Clark Martinson for rekindling my love for cycling when I came to Houston and taught me dumpster diving behind Bicycle World and Fitness.
Thank you all for your support, love, and prayers. Blessings!
Rev. David Finklea