Holiday Bike Drive Stories: Elizabeth Trinh, Community Partner and Volunteer Translator

Elizabeth Trinh

We’re sharing some of our favorite Holiday Bike Drive stories with you all month long. And we’d love to hear your story, too! Tell your Holiday Bike Drive story over on our Facebook page. 

Elizabeth Trinh first became a part of the Holiday Bike Drive when she began signing up participants at the Housing Authority of Portland, where she works as Goals Coordinator. When she decided she wanted to volunteer at the event, we got extra lucky! She’s been very committed to the Holiday Bike Drive, giving additional time outside the event to translate our safety materials into Vietnamese. Her efforts have greatly enhanced our ability to reach more families more effectively.

Continue reading to find out why Elizabeth is glad to be a part of the Holiday Bike Drive.

On signing up families:
I look at my case load to see who has kids in the age range for the Holiday Bike Drive, and I call them and ask if they would be interested in having a bike for their kids. I have to explain that it’s not a new one, but a used one in very good condition. When you call, they’re really excited. For most of them, their kids have never had a bike.

On how the Holiday Bike Drive helps families ride together:
I know a family whose kids got bikes, and then both the parents got bikes through the Create a Commuter program. They are looking for employment and going to school without a car. They were really happy. It’s a good environment for the family, because now they can all ride bikes together.

On translating for the Holiday Bike Drive:
I volunteered in 2008 and saw that there were a number of Vietnamese families, people that speak my language, so I was able to help the parents. Last year I noticed that there was a safety brochure in Vietnamese, but when I looked at it, I saw that it was missing accent marks, and it wasn’t easy for the user to understand. So I asked Brian [the Community Cycling Center Volunteer and Outreach Manager] if I could translate some areas that needed to be redone. The way you speak Vietnamese is easy, but the way you write has to be very formal.

On the joy of choosing a first bike:
The children have the opportunity to pick out their own bike, the one they like, the one that they know they’re going to use. I can see that the kids are so happy, their eyes get so wide.

On the community coming together:
What the Community Cycling Center does is very good. When I went to the Holiday Bike Drive to volunteer, everyone seemed happy to be able to help. It’s good timing, everyone wants to do something for the community this time of year, and the Holiday Bike Drive is the most enjoyable way to help out.

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Hours: Open Wednesday-Friday 11AM-7PM & Saturday/Sunday 12PM-5PM. Closed Monday & TuesdayBike Shop Address: 1700 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

Phone: 503.287.8786