Dublin-based volunteer given award for fixing bicycles for Ukrainian refugees

A volunteer with the Good Bike Project, Jerry Case, an American living in Ireland, has been recognised by the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide for his efforts fixing bicycles for Ukrainian refugees.

The project, started by River Cycles bike shop in Dublin, has successfully refurbished and distributed over 2,000 bicycles to Ukrainian refugees, enabling them to access education and employment, and embrace a newfound sense of independence.

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Acknowledging Case’s voluntary work, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “In Dublin, Ireland, Jerry Case turned his passion for bicycles into collecting and repairing more than 2,000 bikes for Ukrainian refugees – bikes that have given Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine a greater sense of mobility and freedom, whether that’s to ride to school or to work or to explore the communities where they’ve temporarily settled.”

At the awards ceremony for the 2023 Secretary of State Awards for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad, Moises Mendoza, co-chair of the awards, said: “Jerry Case worked extensively with the owners of River Cycles bicycle shop in Dublin, Ireland, to help launch something called the Good Bike Project. It has refurbished thousands of used bicycles and distributed them to Ukrainian refugees in need the project has gained wide recognition throughout Ireland for its innovation and effectiveness.”

Accepting his award, Case said, “I really don’t have a long list of thank yous. I would just love to thank everyone who’s involved in this. It was very nice, it was a total surprise.”

“I remember opening up the email at the end of the summer and it was titled ‘Congratulations you won’ and right then my finger was going to the delete button… fortunately, I didn’t and I reread it three or four times and I was like ‘What is this? What’s going on?’,” he said

Case said: “I had four minutes to speak and so I put together something rather quickly and then, on the plane last night, I had 17 plus hours to rethink about it and lots of time to watch movies and so I decided to trash my four minutes and talk about this movie that I saw… it’s called the Bucket list.”

He added: “There are some words of inspiration in there for all of us when Morgan Freeman turned to Jack Nicholson and said the ancient Egyptians believed that to get into heaven you needed to answer two questions and your answer determined whether you got into heaven or not the first question was ‘have you found joy in your life’ and, at that point, Jack turns around and goes rolls his eyes and the second question was ‘has your life brought joy to others’, for me this volunteer opportunity answer both of those questions.”

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