J1 Bikes from Carroll County Recycled

For a few weeks, our regional Mobility Manager Scott was trying to make contact with some of our J1-visa international student workers to offer them free bicycles from our Carroll County Recycled transportation program. Donated bikes have been refurbished and were ready for distribution to people in the workforce without a means of getting around.

J1 Bikes from Carroll County Recycled
J1 Bikes from Carroll County Recycled

Saturday in the Thrift Store, I was bringing items to the men’s section where a young man brightly asked me in his heavy Spanish accent – “How much are these?” pointing to a sturdy pair of boots. “Five dollars,” I replied. Astonished, he asked back “Five dollars?” and I said “Yes!” not sure if he thought that was too much or too little. Then he started to look for more. He said, “I am a J! from Paraguay and need warm. My friends and I need warm.” “J1?!,” I asked beginning to get it. “Do you need a bike?” Now he was really puzzled. “Yes,” I said, “a free bicycle,” and we both start mimicking riding a bicycle. I am trying to explain across our language barrier that I have access to bikes and he and his other J1 friends can have them. They had been walking the 6 miles down and back to the grocery store. Hurriedly, I told him to keep shopping, stay put while I texted Scott who immediately answered, spoke to Javier on the phone and made arrangements to deliver the bikes early in the week. That is the magic of the Thrift Store.