Taylor Given recently graduated from New Albany High School, but a community need motivated her to pick up a project she had worked on as a student.
Given, 18, is heading to Ohio State University for biomedical engineering.
But before the New Albany resident starts her college career, she will oversee a bicycle-donation drive from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany, 150 W. Main St.
She will collect bikes, helmets and locks for Franklinton Cycle Works, a nonprofit organization based at 897 W. Broad St. in Columbus that refurbishes bikes for people in need.
Last year, Given organized donation drives and a bike-to-school day as part of her senior-seminar project, a New Albany High School graduation requirement in which students research an idea and create a product or complete a project; they must document 80 hours of work on the project.
The 2017 collections resulted in 73 bikes and 32 helmets, Given said.
"It definitely exceeded my expectations," she said.
Given has been riding bikes since she was a child, and she enjoys running and walking, too.
"I like being outside a lot," she said.
Over the summer, Given has been cycling each morning to a friend's house. She said she finds it easier and more pleasant than driving in a car.
So she knows exactly what benefits the bikes she collects in August will bring to those who receive them, and that's why she was willing to organize another donation drive.
In January, Franklinton Cycle Works co-founder and executive director Jonathan Youngman reached out to her via email to tell her how the donations she had collected were used, Given said. When she learned about the impact, the donations felt a lot more personal, she said.
Youngman asked her if anyone else in New Albany could run a bike-donation drive, Given said. After checking around, she decided to do it herself, she said.
"Taylor's dedication is really inspiring," Youngman said. "She's got a lot of other things she could be doing, so being chosen by her as the focus of her time and talent is a real honor."
Given said the drive is practical because many people are storing bikes their children have outgrown, she said.
"There's so many kids that could be using those," she said.
Many of the bikes Given collected were distributed to youth programs, Youngman said. Those programs include Clintonville Community Resource Center's Kinship Care Program, which gives bikes to children who are living with foster families or aunts, uncles or grandparents, he said.
Other bikes for youngsters were given to Binns Elementary School in Columbus, he said.
Adult bikes donated by Given and others were either sold or earned through volunteering at Franklinton Cycle Works, Youngman said.
"The sale of bikes is one of the main ways that we stay in business, keep the lights on and keep doing what we're doing, he said.
The average price of a refurbished bike is about $110, Youngman said.
About a dozen people usually work in the shop to build credit toward a bike, completing such tasks as sweeping floors, cleaning windows or doing chores that otherwise help out the shop, he said.
Volunteers earn $8 per hour in shop credit, and they also have the opportunity to learn a bit about bike care, he said.
From 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays, Franklinton Cycle Works has an "open shop," its most popular program, Youngman said.
About 25 people typically show up to have volunteer mechanics show them how to repair their bikes, he said. Most come from the Franklinton and Hilltop neighborhoods of Columbus, he said. The services are free, according to the organization's website.
Many Franklinton residents don't have resources to go to a regular bike shop and depend on biking or busing to get around, Youngman said.
Although some nearby shops donate used bikes to Franklinton Cycle Works, the nonprofit depends upon donation drives like those organized by Given, Youngman said.
Donation drives also have the advantage of introducing more people to Franklinton Cycle Works and its mission, Youngman said.
"It's all going back to helping people accomplish their goals and get where they need to go," he said.
For more information about Given's donation drive, email firstname.lastname@example.org.