October 15th Packing Party

Some of the 529 bikes that went into the container.

I went to the packing party. It was a real education and a great experience. I hadn’t seen this end of the operation before so it was a pleasure to see how this was done. Frank has this down to a science: his method of packing the box minimizes wasted space, thereby maximizing the number of lives that are made better in Africa. 

The event was well attended. Numerous volunteers from Bike Works were there helping prepare the bikes for packing, moving them out to the container, and then packing them in the container. It was an all day event, with almost 1/2 a container getting packed. There’s just a small amount of packing left before the container will be ready to head to Africa.

UPDATE: The container is now (as of 10-30-2011) completely packed and ready to be shipped! Here’s an email I received from Frank, the head of B4H-Seattle: 

Thank you for your help on Sunday.  We finished the day closing the container with 529 bikes (Susan’s tally) 15 cartons of tools and spare parts and an assortment of old helmets, seats, etc.  We are shipping next week.  We will have shipped 1508 bikes in 17 months.  We’ll take a break, then shoot to ship another container in Feb/March.  Thanks again. Susan and Frank.

The above photo shows a couple hundred bikes anxiously awaiting the long trip to Africa so they can dramatically change someone’s life. Below are volunteers prepping the bikes for packing in the container, the bikes in the container, a group of volunteers following Frank to the container, and sign of why we are doing this. The final photo is the container just before the doors were shipped.