(About 1,000 words. 5-7 minute read, or a 6:41 listen)
Dear BBP Volunteers, Members, and Supporters,
If I told you “big changes were happening at BBP right now,” it would be an understatement. Transformation might be a better word. Regardless of the diction, change, transformation, and growth can be challenging, especially if focused on the obvious and often tangible pains of short-term inconvenience. Operating with half of the shop closed down and cleared out for construction for the last couple of months has been tough for everyone, and I would be lying if I said ongoing construction delays haven’t added to an already challenging period of growth.
During challenging periods people often look for the “light at the end of the tunnel,” or maybe they call it the “silver lining.” I think this perspective discounts the real process of creating something great and building something that sticks. Great things (and I truly believe BBP is great) take grit, take tenacity, and take a determined pursuit of Mission and Vision. If you’re only looking for the light at the end, you’re not truly experiencing or learning from the journey. If you’re only focused on the silver lining you’re ignoring hard decisions and challenging situations necessary to grow stronger. BBP has never done things the easy way; we’ve done things the impactful way.
So what’s going on at BBP right now? Construction, Staff Changes, and Growth.
Construction, the big “physical” change, will finally be underway in the next 2 weeks. We had originally hoped to be finished in October. Now December is looking a bit more likely, which might add an interesting new component to the Christmas Kids Bike Giveaway preparations. We’ll roll with it. In the meantime, your unbelievable grassroots donations are safe, secure, and collecting tiny fractions of interest in the bank. Right now, it seems like raising $230,000 in 90 days has been the easy part of this expansion. I don’t know why that surprises me since you’ve always powered the journey and risen to the occasion. The hard part is waiting.
Staffing, the “emotional” and “relational” change, is experiencing what feels like unprecedented turnover. There will be a lot of new faces in here soon. There will be some folks to say goodbye to. There are some tremendous people who have already gone. This is always hard. When Nate Rioux left 2 years ago for a new and exciting opportunity, people thought BBP would “never be the same.” I was among those people and we were actually right. BBP was not the same without him; it became better because of him. He didn’t leave big shoes to fill, he created an opportunity for different shoes of a different size to step up to the plate and knock it out of the freaking park. Now, Cass Jones has done the same thing for BBP’s new Shop Manager Charles Mitchell who begins on Sept. 20th. Charles will bring years of bike coop experience from the Community Bike Project in Omaha, Nebraska and unique expertise in Youth Earn-a-Bike and Youth Refugee Programs. He will be different from Cass, and BBP will grow stronger and be better because of it.
BBP mechanics Patrick, Quinn, and Claire will soon hit the road (grad school in Germany, school in Portland, and moving to McCall… respectively), and this has created a job opportunity for longtime volunteer, Vince Trimboli, to connect with and impact the 1,000s of shop users Patrick, Quinn, and Claire touched, as well as 1,000s more that will soon enter our doors for the first time. There remain openings and opportunities for two more mechanics to do the same. We’d love to find at least one female mechanic to replace Claire, so spread the word.
After almost 2 years of creating impact through BBP’s volunteer programs, Ryan has created an opening for someone new to build unprecedented change-making volunteer opportunities in the community. As of today, the Volunteer Coordinator position in open. Before we fly it to the national and global bicycle coop community, we would love to see what kind of interest might already exist within BBP’s volunteer program. You can see the full job posting here. The 2 leading requirements are a history of volunteering and a passion for empowering others to create impact.
During the vacancy we will need volunteer help more than ever. We’ve created new volunteer shifts and an online sign up platform that will allow volunteers of all experience levels with all types of availability to lend an impactful hand at BBP. If you’re looking to get involved at a deeper level, or if you just have a couple hours to give to a good cause, we want your help. We need your help. Sign up for a shift here.
Next up is a brand new Development Director. We flew this position last week and have had so many qualified applicants that we plan to stop taking applications on Sept. 9th. We truly believe this new position will create unparalleled growth in BBP’s programs and unprecedented impact on the future of biking in Boise. After interviewing the first handful of applicants, this belief couldn’t be stronger. Stay tuned on this one.
So yes, this is a transformative time at BBP. With the rebuilding, reconstruction, and rebirth of the physical building, we believe it should be transformative. For the first time since 2009, when we first moved into our home on Lusk St, volunteers and staff will have the opportunity to be involved at the ground level while walls are being raised. This is a new opportunity for ownership, investment, and involvement that won’t be easy, but will be worth it. You can wait for the “light at the end of the tunnel” to appear before you get involved, but if you do, you might miss the REAL good stuff.
Thank you for all you’ve done for BBP. Thank you for your patience and persistence. Thank you for believing.