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Locals Support Bike for the World

By Staff | May 1, 2015

A group of local high school students brought a Bikes for the World effort to Shepherdstown Sunday.

Josephine Lo, a 17-year-old Jefferson High School student lead the effort Sunday after months of preparation.

President of the school’s Junior Statesmen of America organization, Lo rallied classmates from various other organizations such as Spanish Honor Society and Key Club to volunteer.

“It’s very much a group effort,” she said.

Lo said she wanted to “do something that makes a big change in the world.”

Bikes for the world is an organization dedicated to making used bikes and parts affordable to low income people throughout the globe for transportation. The organization also helps generate employment in bicycle repair and maintenance for these impoverished areas.

Lo explained that many of the students require service hours for their organizations and she felt the drive would be a good opportunity to earn their credit, while championing a cause that she thinks is valuable.

Lo parent’s organized a similar drive in Shepherdstown in 2008 and while doing service work in the Philippeans Lo said she saw the way the program touched lives in a real way.

“I saw the people who were directly impacted by these donations and that’s what really motivated me.”

“People use them to go school, to work, to medical care.” she said.

Phil Ruth a longtime volunteer for Bikes For the World was unhand Sunday to help the students disassemble, pack and transport the bikes.

“We’ve been doing these collections for ten years, he said.

Ruth has collected bikes for drives held in the regional area from Northern Virginia, to DC, North Carolina, New York and Maryland. Once collected, bikes are housed in Arlington before being shipped overseas.

“Our next shipment is going to Costa Rica,” he said.

According to Ruth over 100,000 bikes have shipped to developing communities in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean in the last ten years.

Sunday’s event brought in more than 100 bicycles and raised over $500 in donations.

To learn more about Bikes for the World and find local collection listings, visit their web site at www.bikesfortheworld.org/.