submitted by Episcopal Community Services
Last fall Episcopal Community Services (ECS) was given three bicycles. They had been used but were in excellent condition. The owner had taken them to the Bicycle Shoppe on Lake Avenue where Larry Vogel checked them over, oiled them and made them ready for a new owner. The donor even added bicycle locks for each of them. How thoughtful. During the winter the bikes lived in the basement of St. Martin’s waiting for spring.
Spring arrived and someone without transportation came to the ECS office. He had been walking to work. Now the bicycles were “girl’s bikes”. I suggested to him that perhaps Larry would be willing to make a trade. So the person needing the bike went to see Larry and a trade was made. Now Bike #1 had a new home and a new purpose.
A month later Bike #1’s owner came to ECS. “Is there still another bike in the basement?” A young woman working with me could use a bike to get to work. Thus Bike #2 found a new owner and a new purpose in life. Bike #2 is proud to be able to provide someone with a “ride” to work.
Enter a vestry member who works in Mankato. “Jennelle, do you have a way to get a bike? Someone in Mankato, who is homeless, is in need of transportation.” “ECS has a small bike, how big is this person?” “He is 6’ and about 180 – 200 lbs.” “Oh, I wonder if Larry will trade a little bike for a bigger bike.”
So off to the Bicycle Shoppe Jennelle goes. And Larry agrees to her request. He tunes and cleans up a used bike and put a better seat on it. He did suggest that it could use new tires and handgrips and gave them to ECS for cost. Our Vestry member agreed to pay for the tires and handgrips. Now, little Bike #3 is waiting for a new owner at the Bicycle Shoppe and a homeless man in Mankato has transportation.
Thanks to the family who donated the three bikes. Thanks to Larry Vogel who shared with ECS in Community Outreach. Thanks to the Vestry member who gave ECS of Region IV the opportunity to serve someone outside of Fairmont. And, most importantly, thanks be to God.