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Intense bike-building nets 24 bikes for kids
PORTLAND, Ore. (10/16/09)--About 190 Unitus Community CU staff assembled bicycles for 24 members of the Portland Boys & Girls Club Monday in a three-hour race against time.
This young man was one of 24 recipients of a new bicycle from Unitus Community CU, Portland, Ore. Unitus employees assembled the bikes during a team-building exercise Monday. (Photo provided by Unitus Community CU)
Columbus Day traditionally is a holiday for many businesses. For Unitus, the date usually means all-staff training. However, this year it became “The Unitus Columbus Day Moving You Forward Conference: A Day for Teamwork and Collaboration.” The intense bike-building exercise tested the teams’ wit and creativity in building bikes that were wheeled out to surprise 12 boys and 12 girls from the club. None of the employees knew until the end of the exercise that the bikes they built would be donated to local youth. Teams assembled at 1 p.m. and attempted to have every last nut and bolt in place by the 3:30 p.m. deadline. At that time, Unitus President/CEO Patricia Smith and Sarah Fast, program director of the Regence Club in North Portland, welcomed the children. “We saw some great expressions of surprise because none of our employees knew why they were building the bikes, and the boys and girls did not know about the bicycles until they actually took their own and wheeled them away,” Smith said. “This is probably one of the most fun-filled and rewarding team-building experiences we’ve ever completed.” The program is not the first involving bicycles and Unitus. The credit union received widespread publicity last year when it announced a low, fixed-rate loan program for bicycle purchases. The loans target purchasers of commuter-quality bicycles who ride to work to save on gas and wish to protect the environment (News Now July 17). Unitus also collected used bicycles last year, and refurbished and donated them to low-income youth and adults.
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