WebMD’s mission is to enable people to live better lives by empowering decisions and actions that improve well-being and health outcomes. One way we fulfill this is by partnering with Portland’s Community Cycling Center (CCC), whose vision is to help build a vibrant community where people of all backgrounds use bicycles to stay healthy and connected.
To kick off fall 2017, 16 WebMD Health Services volunteers spent three hours at CCC, and refurbished 32 donated bikes.
Making a Match
WebMD Health Services volunteers started spending time at CCC in spring of 2012. The connection was made with WebMD Director of Client Delivery Services, Adrian Klein, who had volunteered with CCC before joining WebMD Health Services.
“When I started [at WebMD] I felt our values to improve health and wellness for our end users were a perfect fit for employees to participate in an activity that encourages healthy and active living for kids in our community here in Portland,” Adrian recalls.
To date, WebMD volunteers have been to CCC four times, with 15 to 20 volunteers each session.
Opportunities for Everyone
Fortunately, this partnership isn’t just for mechanical experts.
CCC staff provide training for volunteers and demonstrate the cleaning and light maintenance needed on each bike that comes in. Volunteers then work in pairs, putting in the time and effort required to make the bike look great. The work WebMD volunteers performs is an important step before the mechanical experts make any changes to ensure the bike is safe and ready to ride.
Cleaning for a Cause
Once the bikes have been carefully refurbished, they’re ready for the big event: a Holiday Bike Drive where kids get to pick out their own set of wheels.
In some cases, this may be a child’s first bike. Most families who participate aren’t able to purchase a bicycle for their children. Through CCC’s outreach and volunteer events, they provide 300 to 400 bikes annually for children in the area.
With so many opportunities to make a difference, Adrian is optimistic about WebMD’s continued involvement. There have already been requests from the WebMD Health Services team to go back next year. New and returning volunteers will plan a day at CCC in spring or summer of 2018 to work on bikes for the next holiday event.
“As someone that has volunteered at the Holiday Bike Drive, I can say that it’s a great feeling knowing what excitement and fun the bike I am spiffing up will mean to the child who picks it out.
“Some of these bikes come to CCC well-loved and need a lot of TLC before going to the Holiday Bike Drive. I can speak from experience with the donation this year of a bike that my daughter recently outgrew – it ended up being worked on by one of our volunteers and it took some work to make it sparkle again. It takes time to clean them up to be nice and shiny, yet I know the end result will be a positive and meaningful impact.”