Stories from the Basement

Stories from the Basement: September 2014

By Donna Clark RN, Director

Think about your life. You get up in the morning and when it is time to go somewhere you walk out to your car or a friend or relative’s car, get in, and drive off. The car insurance is paid, maintenance is maintained and gas is in the tank. You don’t even think twice about transportation. For those with little or no income, transportation is a huge issue. They cannot afford the surrounding costs of using a car, other vehicle, or public transportation.

Today someone came for assistance with bus tickets to get to a shelter in Pocomoke. At this time we do not have tickets and it hurt to have to say “no”. The look in his eyes of hopelessness and frustration affected everyone helping in the office.

Shawn Holiday, founder of Cycles 4 Hope in Sacramento, California, said it well, “I truly believe that something as simple as a bicycle and a message of hope can positively impact a life. Just think… A bike can help you get to a shelter for food, water, clothing, medical care and a clean bed. A bike can help you find and sustain employment. And most importantly, a bike can help bring back the hope and the joy that so many of our homeless neighbors have lost. It is amazing to think that something many of us take for granted can be so incredibly valuable to another.”

As the volunteers of H.O.P.E., Inc. discussed this issue over the past months the idea of a Bike Ministry emerged. The local police department has many bicycles that have been recovered and once a year they offer them at auction to the public; usually sold in bulk to a few people. One of our volunteers took this project on and contacted the City of Salisbury and the City Police. We are proud to share that we will be receiving these bikes donated by the City Police and are able to give them to those in need of transportation. As the word spread among the church community about this idea, we have already had donations of quality bikes, safety equipment, repair equipment, extra supplies for repair, and the donation of time by a bicycle repair person to teach us how to repair the bikes.

We are keeping a data base to track the registration numbers and who received the bikes and share this with the Salisbury City Police to monitor recovered bikes in the future. If you have old bicycles in your garage or have locks, bike racks or any supplies related to cycling please feel free to contact us. We are also looking for people who have skills to make minor repairs to bikes to help us meet the need as the word of our ministry reaches those we serve.

Romans 12: 9-13 always warms my heart as it tells us to love others, serve the Lord and to be ready to help those in need. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.