By Michael Benko, former Volunteer Coordinator
It has been only ten short days since my technical departure from BFR, but I figured a small notice was in order. And so, here it goes.
Working with BFR for the past year has been, simply put, one of the best experiences of my life. And I mean that. I could go into why, personally, I found such a comfortable home with our bikes, trailers, and mission, but suffice to say that I find it rare to engage with an experience that one can truly grab ahold of. It’s not a matter of running through a motion, but feeling and acknowledging the give and take of the past year of my involvement. Avid fixed gear riders, cinema enthusiasts, poets, foodies, and anyone who has ever felt lit up when their recipient is truly thankful and excited for your delivery will know what I’m grasping at. I guess, in a word, it is passion. BFR is not simply about moving food; we are weaving a new kind of connection in our community, and food is simply the language we are using. We are doing our best to push back against the expectations of what is possible to be accomplished with our time, our experiences, and our bicycles. We are friends. We are cyclists. We care about so many real things, and we are making a difference.
This being said, I want to take a moment to personally thank a lot of people who were important to me in this organization. First and foremost, to my dearest rock solid volunteers who know how to schedule absences, but rarely do, and hold shifts down as strong as roofing nails would; your undaunted resolution to food justice, and your/our bicycle’s, is the glory of any volunteer coordinator and you are the spokes that hold our wheels together. Thank you. Moreover, if you ever covered a shift when I asked (despite the cold or the heat or the fact that I actually needed you to cover two shifts that were right next to each other), then I offer my utmost thanks to you. Even being clear about your schedule, saying no, or communicating at all meant the world, and without your dedication to the last-minute shift-cover this organization would be in big trouble. Our maintenance team is certainly part of this group, and knows even more about the last-minute repairs we’ve had to do to keep things rolling; your knowledge, tools, and time are invaluable. Our donors deserve some kind of honorable mention; I’m positive we’re as nice as possible (and in some cases gently forward), and obviously we have nothing to do if they have nothing for us. Finally, our BFR staff has been at the forefront of all of this. How could I have had any experience worth having if it weren’t for our weird schedules, off-beat humor, support, and energy? You all are the foundation of my past year, and it has been an absolute honor and pleasure.
Some of you who bothered to read this fall into many of these categories, and I know that you know that you do. You are the best. You are inspiring. You are the reason humanity continues without starving itself out. You are the reason I can look around me and say there remains inspiring people in this world doing inspiring work worth something. I am unbelievably grateful to have spent time with all of you and I cannot wait until my path returns to Boulder and I can pick up my own shift again; rejoining the cavalry of couriers we are, who ride into the snowy horizon one pedal stroke at a time. These two words can’t communicate the feelings I have, but I also can’t write a novel so: thank you. For everything.
We love you, Benko!