05/14/2015 | By Brenda Maguire / TROWE Price
For the last few years, bike-building events have been a popular form of team-building across the TROWE Price firm. The events aren’t just to help teams work together, but also end with these bikes being donated to various charities.
This year, Global Investment Services (GIS) and U.S. Investment Services (USIS) Individual Investors held two bike-building events that benefited Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County.
Building Bikes as a Global Team
Every year in January, GIS associates travel from around the globe to attend a one-week training session in Baltimore. This year, they had a chance to build bikes.
The event was held as an informal evening event and provided a way for the whole GIS team to get together and give back to the community.
“Giving back is definitely something that GIS feels strongly about. This is one of the events that GIS does throughout year,” says Kim Tuckey, GIS.
Derek DeWitt, Director of Operations for Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County, joined the team to talk about the importance of the bikes to the children. After the associates were broken up into 25 teams to build the bikes, they were tasked with writing a team song before building their bikes.
At the end of the event, the teams completed 25 bikes for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County.
Bikes for Tykes
Leading up to the Individual Investor (II) quarterly meeting in February, the group was looking for a fun event with a charitable tie. The II Employee Engagement Committee had heard of previous bike-building events and researched best practices.
II met on February 18, and one hour of the meeting was dedicated to their bike-building initiative, which they called Bikes for Tykes.
Before splitting up into groups to build the bikes for children ages five to seven, Mr. DeWitt spoke to the team and shared a story of how the bike-building events began and how important these bikes are to the young people receiving them.
“Derek told us such a moving, relevant story about how the bikes help children to be successful in life,” says Cynthia Ciangio, Acquisition and Client Development. “Once that story was told, II was very enthusiastic about building these bikes and working together as a team to help these children.”
Following Mr. DeWitt’s address, the team members checked their name tags for bike-building table assignments, creating randomized groups that were then split into groups of five for the bike building. Each five-member team was responsible for building one bike.
Members of the II Employee Engagement Committee, along with a few more experienced builders, circulated through the room to help out any team needing help.
The team provided 15 helmets, in addition to the bikes, that were donated to Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County.
On April 18, the bikes were delivered to Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County, which seeks to enable young people—especially those with great need—to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.
“To receive bikes is extraordinary because most of our kids have never had bikes,” says Mr. DeWitt. “The bikes provide children with a mode of transportation to and from school or the Clubs. This has helped children get on a better track and really has helped their future.”
This is especially important in Harford County, which doesn’t have many streets designed for pedestrian travel, making it that much harder for the kids to travel to and from the Clubs.
Boys & Girls Clubs partnered with Bike Maryland, which works to promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions, and provide a voice for Maryland bicyclists. Billed as a Bike Safety Course, the day revolved around teaching the kids the importance of wearing a helmet, traffic rules for bikes, and other safety tips. “For a lot of kids, this was the first time they ever rode a bike, and for others, it was their first time riding without training wheels,” Mr. DeWitt says.
Going into the event, the kids had no idea they were about to receive the bikes but thought they were simply learning bike safety. After riding on the bikes throughout the lessons and exercises, the children were told that the 40 bikes T. Rowe Price associates built were theirs to keep. “When we made that announcement, they went nuts. They just went crazy,” Mr. DeWitt says. “It was an extraordinary moment.”