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Bike builders

Francis Howell North NHS members with donated bikes.

Francis Howell North NHS members with donated bikes.

In December, Francis Howell North National Honor Society students spent a Saturday building bikes for children and learning the true meaning of volunteerism.

Lauren Bartram, Aiza Bustos, Dominique Meyers, Chase Powelson, Mallory Schaffrin, Tessa Smith and Chris Wood built 14 bikes for the organization, Next Step for Life, which offers a number of services in support of people with disabilities.

“The bikes come in from corporate donations,” said Donna Malkmus, NHS sponsor. “So basically, we’re just their manpower, pulling these brand-new bikes out of a box and assembling them. But we literally get to give them to the kids. They come (get the bikes), and you have crying parents, and kids jumping up and down out of excitement. It’s pretty impressive.

“And I had students literally crying when they were giving their bike to these kids. I think it makes them appreciate what they really have. It makes them realize just how fortunate they are, based on the opportunities that they have – in their home and in their school – which other kids just don’t have.”

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