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Volunteer!

The single most important way you can help the Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen is by giving us a little bit of your time. There are many tasks that need to be done, from wrenching in the shop to writing grants, and we can find a way to put your skills to use.

Volunteer Orientation is required for all prospective volunteers and is held the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month (excepting holidays), from 7pm-8pm at the shop. RSVP with our volunteer coordinator, or just cross your fingers and drop in on an orientation night.

Shop positions

We have three major positions that volunteers can fill during shop hours.

Manager

The manager is el jefe of the shift, responsible for opening and closing the shop and making sure the shift runs smoothly. It’s up to the manager to make sure that no volunteer’s time is being wasted and that all patrons are treated fairly. Managers set prices and perform all negotiations, and they are the final word when interpreting shop policy. This position is almost always filled by a Core member.

Mechanic

Mechanics are the lifeblood of the shop. They help diagnose patrons’ bicycle problems, demonstrate how to fix a particular problem, and supervise patrons while they use the more advanced bicycle tools to make sure the tool is used properly and safely.
Since we aren’t a drop-off repair shop, it’s also up to mechanics to make sure that the patron spends time working on their bike, rather than just doing it for them.

Clerk

The clerking staff handle administrative duties during shifts. It’s usually up to clerks to greet patrons and drop-in volunteers, log them in to the Freehub computer system, and make sure they’ve signed the accident waiver. Beyond this, the clerk will also assist with tube patching, triage basic bike problems, and try to pair up each problem with a suitable mechanic. Clerks will also be responsible for accepting patrons’ payments and making sure that mechanics (and the manager) are spread evenly throughout the shop.

Other Shop opportunities


Donations team

If you’re interested in wrenching but don’t necessarily want to help people work on their bikes, our donations team might interest you.
Mike Larmer collects large donations outside of our shop hours and works to strip usable parts off of unusable bikes, build up good bikes for eventual sale, and sort parts that come in for reuse or recycling.

Outside the Shop

If you’re not interested in the smell of fresh chain lube in the morning, there are still some volunteer options for you.

Accounting/Bookkeeping

If you would like to help with the shop’s bookkeeping and taxes or help us maintain compliance, you can volunteer with our bookkeeper. Contact our volunteer coordinator, Glenn Small, for more information.

Website

Scott handles SBK’s website hosting. Shannon Southwood handles SBK’s IT needs and maintains the website content.

Art/Media/Marketing

We often sell T-shirts that could use a designer’s touch and throw a Second Saturday fundraising party that needs marketing. We’re looking for someone to become SBK’s official photographer/videographer or help us with our design needs. Contact SBK Outreach Coordinator, Don Bybee for more information.

Events

Events like our Second Saturday party are currently put together by Andrea. She’s the one to talk to if you want to perform in one of our Second Saturday shows.

Grant writing

We’ve been lucky enough to survive these few years entirely off of membership fees, parts and bikes sales, and our Second Saturday party. This isn’t to say we’re not interested in grant opportunities, just that nobody here has had the time to pursue them. If this is something you’re interested in, we would love to have you join the team.

Maintenance instruction

Part of our mission includes teaching people about bicycle maintenance, but we don’t schedule as many training classes as we’d like for lack of volunteers. Contact classes for more information regarding current offerings.

Commitment levels

We allow every volunteer to set their own commitment levels. Volunteers are welcome to come in during any shift to lend a hand. However, we do distinguish “casual” drop-in volunteers from those who are dedicated enough to work on a set schedule. Because the latter tend to be more dedicated to our shop and our mission, we consider them our “staff” volunteers and give them a greater role in determining shop policy and greater responsibility and leeway to furthering our goals. All volunteers or prospective volunteers are invited into our volunteer announcements list, but staff volunteers are given access to an additional staff-only mailing list for discussions about shop policy, future events, and guidance issues regarding the shop. We don’t review list membership as often as we ought to, so feel free to pipe up if you think you’ve been overlooked.

In addition, we have a select group of “Core” members selected from the staff list that make the crucial administrative decisions about the shop and its operations, similar to other nonprofits’ Boards of Directors. Their meetings take place on the first Monday of every month (excepting holidays) and are open to all to attend. The Core is encouraged to pass along as many decisions as possible to the staff list.