“Individual commitment to a group effort, this is what make a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.“ – Vince Lombardi
It’s pretty special when an opportunity combines corporate team building, bikes and the spirit of giving back. Sasha and I had such an occasion last week when we met with Wade and his team from HSBC. After donating six brand new bikes to our Two Wheel View – Trips program, we saw an opportunity to bring the group together to help us build the bikes and learn more about the TWV story.
To give the group a taste of the program we run with our students, it started with a circle. At TWV, we use circles a lot to communicate with groups and it can be powerful tool for connecting communities. We asked the HSBC participants to say their name, give us a ‘weather report’ on their day and share a reflection on a childhood experience that they think had a significant impact on them. It’s touching to hear stories of people moving to Canada, experiencing their first snowfall, camping or playing catch with their parents and dealing with trials and tribulations of having older siblings. Many of the experiences that we see as significant in our lives can be woven into a few common threads and it’s these threads that bond groups, people and coworkers from across different cultural backgrounds and demographics. It was easy to see that this friendly group from HSBC learned a few new things about their colleagues through this exercise.
After the introductions it was time for these bankers to get their hands dirty. In small groups they each took on the task of putting together a bike. Sasha facilitated the construction and while I used the opportunity to share stories about our programs and some of the amazing participants we’ve had over the years. The groups were introduced to a few new tools (pedal wrenches for example!) while learning how to attach the handlebars, grease the pedals and attach wheels.
In the end, what was carried in as boxes and parts, was rolled out as fully built bicycles; destined for great adventures with our youth participants. These particular bikes will find a home with our fleet in Quebec. Their first ride will be a part of our Alberta-Quebec Exchange with YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada this spring. This year we are taking 10 youth from the Morley First Nation to Quebec to ride with 10 new immigrants to Quebec and in June the groups will reunite and ride from Calgary to Banff together. It promises to be an incredible trip to kick off our summer trips season.
The enthusiasm and interest of the HSBC employees made for extremely fun event for both Sasha and I. Thank you to Wade for coordinating the donation and corporate team building event with us and to his team for being such a great group to work with.